France becomes the "first country" in Europe for asylum applications


An "anomaly", a "symbolic" reversal: for the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis in 2015, France overtook Germany to become the "first country" in terms of asylum applications in Europe, said Thursday Christophe Castaner.

Just four years ago, at the height of the crisis, fed by the flows created by the Syrian conflict, France registered 80,075 asylum applications according to the figures of OFPRA, which grants refugee status in France, while Germany received some 890,000 requests. That's more than ten times more.

Today, "France has become the first country of asylum seekers in Europe since October 20, even though entry into Europe continues to decline, which is a statistical anomaly, on which we need to work, "said the interior minister after an interview on migration cooperation with his Georgian counterpart Vakhtang Gomelauri.

The two countries "are holding in a pocket handkerchief" but the fact that France exceeds Germany is "symbolic", says one to AFP Place Beauvau. According to a source at the Ministry of the Interior, 120,900 applications were registered in France on 17 November, against 119,900 in Germany. Last year, 184,000 people applied for asylum in Germany against 123,000 in France.

This drastic reversal is explained in particular by the fact that France welcomes "a request for rebound", namely that migrants who "failed elsewhere come to introduce a request" in France, said this source. "That is why we are committed at European level to a reform of asylum and Schengen."

"Message" to foreigners

To reverse the trend and lower the asylum demand, which is expected to increase by "10 to 15%" in 2019 in France, according to another source at the Ministry of the Interior, the government has proposed several measures in early November in the context of his immigration plan.

One month after a parliamentary debate wanted by Emmanuel Macron and at the heart of which was the application for asylum, the government has proposed to speed up the processing of these applications, to introduce a waiting period of three months in access to basic social security for asylum seekers or to take measures of expulsion from the refusal of the file to Ofpra, without waiting for the study of a possible appeal.

"These are messages that we want to send to foreign nationals to show that France wants to extend and raise the need for protection, but for people who must be protected, not for people who want to deflect the right of protection" said Christophe Castaner Thursday.

The Minister of the Interior had just mentioned the Franco-Georgian cooperation to curb the asylum application, emphasizing the diplomatic leverage.

According to him, during the first months of 2019, Georgia "was the first country asylum seeker in France", with more than 1,000 Georgians come to France per month.

Since his visit to Tbilisi in May, the flow has dropped by "almost 50%," he said, announcing the upcoming arrival in Paris of two additional Georgian police to facilitate this fight, after the one in September. first three liaison officers.

This type of cooperation is likely to develop, he explains, because Georgia is "a very good example".

21/11/2019 23:56:53 –
Paris (AFP) –
© 2019 AFP

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