Asylum numbers for people seeking entry into the European Union dropped significantly between 2016 to 2017, according to the European Union asylum office.

The number of asylum-seekers seeking entry into the EU lowered by 43 percent from 2017 to 2016, The Guardian reported Monday. The EU’s asylum office received 728,470 applications in 2017 compared to 1.3 million applications in 2016. The office also received 108,020 applications from Syria in 2017, a number that decreased by 68.4 percent since 2016.


Germany received the highest amount of asylum applications, coming in at 222,560 applications in 2017 compared to 745,155 applications in 2016. Italy, France, Greece, and the United Kingdom followed Germany.

The three countries Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are the main places of origin for asylum-seekers, making up 29 percent of the total number.

“Now really is the time for EU member states to come together and to agree on their approach to this issue,” said Sophie Magennis of the United Nations refugee agency, according to The Guardian. “We do not have a crisis of numbers, we continue to a crisis of political will and that is something that needs to be addressed.”

EU officials will meet next week to discuss how to handle the refugee crisis in each of their countries.

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