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Germany 'made most attempts' at sending asylum seekers to other EU states

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By Alice Tidey
People queue to request asylum outside a Spanish police station on Nov 22
People queue to request asylum outside a Spanish police station on Nov 22   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Juan Medina

Germany was the most prolific in the EU at trying to transfer asylum seekers to other countries in the bloc, latest figures show.

It sent 63,326 requests to transfer them to other member states in 2017, according to data from Eurostat.

Under European law, countries can request asylum seekers are transferred to the first EU state they arrived in.

France, with 41,243 requests, was second to Germany, followed by Austria (10,482) and Greece (9,559).

EU countries sent a total of 157,805 outgoing requests to other member states last year, asking to transfer responsibility for examining an asylum application.

Germany sent the most requests to transfer asylum seekers, but Berlin was also the biggest receiver of such demands.

It had 26,927 requests in 2017, followed by Italy with 26,627.

Acceptance of transfer requests

Member states can, however, refuse to accept requests for tranfer.

Still, the majority of EU member states reported that in 2017 more than half of the decisions on their outgoing requests were accepted.

Latvia and Italy both had over 90% of their outgoing requests to other member states accepted while Slovakia (45.5%), Hungary (41.4%) and Croatia (35.1%) recorded the lowest rate of acceptance on their outgoing requests.

Finland, Malta, Estonia, Italy and Portugal were the EU member states with the highest proportions of acceptances on incoming requests in 2017 — all above 90%.

In contrast, seven member states accepted fewer than half the incoming requests they received, including Austria (35%), Hungary (27%) and Greece (4%).

Asylum applications in the EU

According to Eurostat, nearly 650,000 first-time asylum requests were registered in the EU last year — nearly a third of which were logged in Germany, followed by Italy (19.5%), and France (14%).