Refugee Crisis

The Asylum Backlog

Migrants queue in the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) as they wait to register in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2015. German authorities are struggling to cope with the roughly 10,000 refugees arriving every day, many fleeing conflict in the Middle East. The government expects 800,000 or more people to arrive this year and media say it could be up to 1.5 million. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Refugees arriving in Germany lined up in their hundreds of thousands to file asylum applications last year. Most are still waiting to get an answer.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The increasing backlog on of refugees seeking asylum is putting a massive strain on the economies and political systems of European countries.

  • Facts


    • Nearly 1.1 million people were waiting for asylum applications to be processed as of the end of June, according to the E.U. statistical agency.
    • More than half of those waiting are in Germany, which also accepted the lion share (61 percent) of first-time applicants in the April-June months of this year.
    • The number of new asylum applicants in the European Union climbed back over 300,000 in the second quarter of this year.
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The number just keeps on rising. While Europe is making progress in cutting down the influx of refugees reaching its shores, the number of those asylum seekers still stuck in limbo, waiting to be processed, has swelled.

About 1.5 million refugees came to Europe over the course of last year – primarily from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq – and most of them are still waiting to hear whether they can actually stay.

As of the end of June, nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers were waiting for their applications to be processed by the authorities, figures released Thursday showed.

More than half of those – 571,500 to be exact – were waiting in Germany, according to the E.U. statistical agency. Europe’s largest economy has taken in far more asylum seekers than any other country on the continent.

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