Majority seeks refugee protection after reaching Germany, report says | News | DW

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Less than half of asylum applications in Germany last year came from people whose fingerprints were taken at the European Union’s external borders, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

Citing figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). the newspaper said 53% of new applicants aged 14 and over were not listed in the Eurodac fingerprint database in the first 11 months of 2021.

The fingerprints of 74,837 qualifying applicants were compared against the EU database, which showed 35,245 applicants had previously applied for refugee status, the newspaper reported.

A total of 172,370 asylum applications, including children, were lodged in Germany from January to November.

Eurodac was created in 2003 to manage the fingerprint identification of all people seeking asylum in any EU country, as many people arrive without identity papers.

Asylum must be requested on arrival

BAMF data revealed that many refugees in Germany did not apply for asylum when they first set foot on EU soil – in countries like Greece, Italy, Poland or Lithuania – which are located at the land or sea borders of the bloc.

Under the EU Dublin III Regulation, asylum applications must be registered in the country of arrival, which is then responsible for processing the person’s protection request.

One of the principles of the regulation is to stop multiple asylum claims in several EU states.

However, countries in southern and eastern Europe complain of carrying a heavier load while most asylum seekers prefer to seek refuge in richer countries in western and northern Europe.

The measure has also been said to be impractical as most refugees move between EU countries and asylum seekers are not often returned to their country of arrival.

As Germany is not at the EU’s external border, under Dublin rules the number of asylum applications is expected to be much lower.

Germany receives more applications

Data from the EU statistics agency Eurostat showed that Germany’s share of all asylum applications lodged in the EU was 28.4%, compared to 20% for France, 11% for Spain and 8% for Italy.

Alexander Throm, spokesman for the center-right bloc in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, said the data “dramatically demonstrates the dysfunction of the Dublin system”.

He said Welt am Sonntag that the registration and return of asylum seekers are fundamental precepts of the EU asylum system.

He called on the new German coalition government to demand better respect for the Dublin rules.

“Disproportionately relieving other EU states by redistributing despite registration gaps, as envisioned in the coalition agreement, is a bad signal,” Throm said.

The German government’s coalition agreement calls for a “forward-looking and realistic” migration policy and adds that “irregular migration” should be reduced.

mm / sms (AFP, KNA)


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