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Number of Georgian asylum-seekers in Germany drops by 20%

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 26
The number of asylum-seekers in Germany from Georgia has dropped by 20 percent. The information was released by the Federal Service for Migration and Refugees of Germany.

The agency reports that in January-June of this year, there were 2,111 applications from Georgian citizens, which is quite a significant reduction as in January-June of 2018, Georgians filed 2,640 applications.

Also, if in January 2019, 534 Georgians requested asylum in Germany, but in June the number of applications was only 182.

Last year 4,265 Georgian requested asylum in Germany in total, which was 23 % more compared to the data of 2017.

In January 2019, the German parliament (Bundestag) voted in favor of adopting a draft law that classifies Georgia as a safe country.

The decision means that Georgians are not eligible to seek asylum in Germany.

The number of Georgians seeking asylum in EU countries increased when Georgia was granted a visa-free regime with the EU in March 2017.

The European Union has reserved the right to use the suspension mechanism of the visa-free agreement and its full revision if Georgia does not fulfill its obligations.

In 2018, around 17,980 asylum applications were submitted by Georgian citizens to the EU – this is an 11 percent less than in 2017, reports Eurostat, Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg.

The Eurostat said that over 580,000 asylum requests were made in 2018 from countries from around the world, with applicants from Georgia accounting for three percent of the total amount, and the country itself ranking 10th in terms of a number of requests.

This spring Georgian parliament’s Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee approved criminal sanctions for facilitation and organization of abuse of the asylum-seeking.

The changes concern criminal offense of “organization of illegal stay of Georgian citizens in a foreign country for personal financial benefits and facilitating asylum-seeking for financial interests.”

The Law does not apply the EU solely but any illegal migration. Under Article 3442 of the Criminal Code, the above-mentioned crimes are subject to punishment – detention with 2-4 years.

The aggravated circumstances envisage repetition of the offense by the group and punishment envisages 3-6 years of imprisonment.