In 2018, more refugees were transferred from Germany to other EU member states than ever before, according to an Interior Ministry report obtained by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. The report was a response to a parliamentary inquiry by the Left Party.
Some 8,658 asylum-seekers who were required to leave Germany did so between January and the end of November 2018. The previous year, 7,102 were deported to other states.
As such, the proportion of completed transfers from Germany to other EU countries saw a rise from 15.1 percent in 2017 to 24.5 percent in 2018.
The deportations follow the EU's Dublin III rule, which states that the country where a refugee first entered Europe is responsible for handling his or her application.
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany made 51,558 requests in the first 11 months of 2018 to other EU countries that are party to the Dublin III agreement. Of these, some 35,375 were accepted.
Italy was the first destination for deported asylum-seekers, with almost one in three being sent there. On the other hand, Hungary received none of the refugees deported in 2018.
Greece took in only five and rejected the vast majority of requests that were made. Germany's Interior Ministry noted that it found Athen's reasons for not accepting more refugees "predominantly unfounded."
Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer has sought to increase deportations of failed asylum-seekers, as part of a policy that aims to curb the inflow of refugees and improve the federal migration office's handling of asylum requests.