According to the office of the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Théo Francken, more than 2,000 asylum applications were filed last month.
This information has been reported by La Capitale. Having a look at this figure alone doesn’t mean much. But comparing it with past figures, it appears that the number of asylum applications is at its highest since January 2016. Last month alone, 2,117 applications were recorded, Mr. Francken’s office pointed out. Since the beginning of the year, about 1,700 or 1,800 applications had been submitted every month.
The Syrian community has been the most important one to ask for international protection in Belgium. Afghans and Palestinians came second and third.
While Mr. Francken’s office has noted that a significant part of the applications usually get a positive outcome, the future newcomers might face stricter rules, unfortunately.
There is no denying that Théo Francken will want to limit the number of newcomers. The State Secretary has been subject to many controversies over the past years. The political landscape across Europe is furthermore not “migration-friendly”.
The new Italian government has sent clear signals of populism, and Giuseppe Conte, the new Prime minister, has made the negotiations very complicated during the last European summit.
Other governments, including Austria, Poland, and Hungary, are also skeptical with regard to migration. France and Germany, for internal political reasons, have not supported a pro-migration policy over the past months.
For the time being, Théo Francken seems focused on the upcoming European summits, and he wants to dissuade future refugees from coming to Europe and Belgium.