The new border security reinforcement in the European Union, as well as the tougher EU migration policy and the EU refugee pact with Turkey are among the reasons behind the expected reduction of asylum applications in 2017, according to the agency’s statement.
The decrease of refugees will allow to expedite the process of asylum decisions on the already received applications from refugees, the agency added.
Last week, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that the country extended temporary border control with Schengen countries, expiring on February 11, for three more months. The measure was introduced back in November 2015, due to the high influx of refugees into the country.
Europe has faced an unprecedented influx of undocumented migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. Many migrants arrive by sea to the shores of European states and try to move further to wealthier countries, such as Britain, Germany and Sweden.