The number of new asylum bids submitted in Germany fell by 16.5 per cent in 2018 on the previous year, partly because the majority of migrants entered Europe through Spain, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday.
Last year, 185,853 asylum bids were submitted, 16 per cent lower than the 222,683 submitted the year before, Seehofer said, as he presented the new data in Berlin alongside Hans-Eckard Sommer, head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
Seehofer said the number had gone down partly because Spain was currently the most popular route for migrants trying to enter Europe. He added that Germany had “managed [the refugee influx] remarkably well.”
In 2018, the number of people reaching Spain via the Mediterranean doubled, for the second year in a row, to 57,000, making it the “most active migratory route into Europe,” according to Frontex.
The figures released on Wednesday showed that one in five people registered as asylum seekers in Germany in 2018 were babies who were born in the country less than a year before.
The topic of asylum-seeker arrivals in Germany has been at the top of the government’s agenda since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an open-door policy for migrants, which led hundreds of thousands to seek asylum there.