Ministers also plan to cut time required to handle asylum requests to nine months as number of people living in illegal migrant camps swells.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria millions have fled its borders in a bid to find a safe haven elsewhere, either in a neighbouring country or in Europe. But while this huge exodus continued in 2014, the number of applications made by refugees to France for asylum status fell in the same period. In all, a little over 3,000 Syrians achieved refugee status in France in 2014, a tiny figure compared with many other European countries, notably Sweden and Germany. Carine Fouteau ponders the reasons for this curious drop in the number of asylum applications, which stands in stark contrast to the government's lofty rhetoric on the issue.