19 Jan 2019 - 12:40
The German Bundestag has declared Georgia a safe country on January 18, meaning that Georgians will not be eligible to seek asylum in Germany.
The draft law also needs to be approved by the Bundesrat, the upper house of the bicameral parliament of Germany.
Georgian Ambassador to Germany Elguja Khokrishvili said that the bill was supported by 509 lawmakers at the Bundestag while 138 voted against.
“The bill will simplify processing of the asylum seekers applications from Georgia and other countries as well as fasten the readmission process of those who were rejected for asylum,” he said.
Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are also included in the bill among the safe countries with Georgia.
It is not yet known when the Bundesrat is going to discuss the bill. Further consultations between parties of the upper house are planned in order to secure votes for the draft law before final voting.
The number of asylum seekers from Georgia in EU countries sharply increased after the enactment of the visa free regime with EU.
However from the second half of last year the number of Georgian asylum seekers in Germany has dramatically decreased as a result of close cooperation between the governments of the two countries.
In 2018, 2,976 applications were registered from Georgian asylum seekers in Germany, DW reports.