In February last year, 679 people applied for asylum in Norway. Senior adviser at Directorate of Immigration (UDI) Therese Bergwitz-Larsen said to VG that the trend of decline in asylum seeking is prevailing since the beginning of this year. In January, the number of asylum seekers to Norway has started to drop. 760 asylum seekers came, which is 230 fewer than the same period of last year.
– It’s too early to say whether fewer asylum seekers is now a new trend or just something temporary, said Immigration Director Frode Forfang.
Norway’s neihbor Sweden is the country in the world who accept most asylum seekers per capita. The country has received 8,568 asylum seekers in the first two months, more than six times as many as Norway and an increase of over 20 percent from the same period in 2013, according to statistics from the Swedish Migration Board .
In Norway, there was 20 per cent less in the same period.
The total of 1,328 asylum seekers who have arrived in Norway so far this year, are from over 76 countries. Almost a quarter of them, 300 people, come from Eritrea . In the second place, there are asylum seekers from civil war-torn Syria, with 195 people. Somali citizens makes the third biggest asylum group, with 136 asylum seekers.
Socialist Left Party (SV) suggested this week that Norway should take 5,000 Syrian refugees – five times more than previously adopted. Justice Ministry said in reply that this is not the policy, but the quota could be raised if fewer asylum seekers come.