Germany has registered 964,574 new asylum-seekers in the first 11 months of the year, putting it on course for more than a million in 2015. The number of migrants arriving has not slowed despite the winter cold.
Germany has registered more asylum-seekers than any other nation in Europe, although at about 1% of its population, less per capita than several smaller nations.
The number of arrivals in Germany so far this year is four times the total for all of 2014. Syrians, for whom Germany has adopted an open-door policy, have been the largest group at around a third.
Germany’s interior ministry said the time taken to process applications had been brought down from an average of around seven months in 2014 to five months this year – in part by speeding applications from Syria and from what it defines as “safe countries of origin” – such as West Balkan states.
Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe fell by more than a third in November, due to poor weather and a Turkish crackdown on people smugglers.