This year, 476 rejected asylum seekers from Morocco have been returned from Germany (as of August 2018)
This year, 476 rejected asylum seekers from Morocco have been returned from Germany (as of August 2018)

Germany is returning more rejected asylum seekers to Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The number has increased since 2016 due to closer cooperation between Germany and the Maghreb states.

The number of returns of rejected asylum seekers to Maghreb states has increased significantly over the past three and a half years. That is according to dpa, which cited a report in the German newspaper BILD published Monday. Figures show an almost 15-fold increase.

The number of persons deported from Germany to Algeria has risen from 57 in 2015 to 504 in 2017. For Tunisia, the number of deportations has risen from 17 to 251 in the same time period. For Morocco, it rose from 61 to 634.

From January to August 2018, 400 were returned to Algeria, 231 to Tunisia and 476 to Morocco.

Closer cooperation

The German government has held ongoing talks with Maghreb states on facilitating the return of rejected asylum seekers. According to internal government sources, the Interior Ministry has worked together with the Federal Foreign Office to advance readmission agreements, BILD writes. "Intensive negotiations on improving cooperation in readmission" have lead to "significant progress made on identifying those who have received refusal notices."

All three Maghreb countries have introduced biometric identification checks on its citizens and exchange of that data with German authorities have helped identify more rejected asylum seekers. The report, citing internal sources, further explains that necessary travel documents are now issued much faster than before.  

On a visit to Algeria in September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the "constructive cooperation" on repatriating rejected asylum seekers. At the same time, Merkel also said there should be more opportunities for young Algerians to migrate to Germany legally. Examples of legal pathways are student visa programs or the EU Blue card program for highly qualified workers.

Safe countries of origin

The German government is seeking to reclassify Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as "safe countries of origin". Such a move would make it even easier to repatriate rejected asylum seekers from there.

Applications for asylum in Germany from people from "safe countries" are usually rejected, unless the individual can prove that they face persecution. However, an asylum application from an individual who comes from a "safe country" is considered the same as any other application.

•••• ➤ Read more: Germany considering more countries 'safe' for return


More articles