At the upcoming refugee summit, the states want to demand financial support from the federal government for the accommodation, care and integration of asylum seekers. The federal government has other priorities.
Before the refugee summit scheduled for Wednesday in the Chancellery, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) and Finance Minister Christian Linder (FDP) spoke out in favor of a preliminary asylum check at the EU’s external borders.
Deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner said in Berlin that the federal government is confident that it will “come to joint agreements” at the planned federal-state meeting in order to achieve “significant improvements in processes at all levels of government”.
Around 100,000 people have applied for asylum in Germany for the first time since the beginning of the year. As the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) announced on Friday, the authority counted 19,629 initial applications in April. According to Bamf, 80,978 formal requests for protection were made between January and March. In 2022 as a whole, the Federal Office received 217,774 first-time asylum applications.
“We will ensure reliable identification, registration and screening of people at the EU’s external borders,” Faeser told Handelsblatt. Procedures are being negotiated in Brussels that should lead to quick decisions on asylum procedures that have little prospect of success at the border and not only within the EU. “Then rejected asylum seekers can be quickly returned from the EU’s external borders.” However, Italy and other countries with external borders are skeptical about such considerations as long as there are no binding, functioning procedures for the distribution of asylum seekers within the EU.
Lindner said in a talk show on RTL / ntv: “I believe that in order to establish control, the physical protection of the external border must also be considered” – for example with a border fence. He is in favor “if the possibility of humanitarian and qualified immigration is made legally easier at the same time”. The spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Maximilian Kall, said that the Federal Government believes that children, pregnant women and other people in need of special protection should be exempted from the border procedures.
Karner pro more robust external border protection
Austria’s Interior Minister Gerhard Karner from the ÖVP spoke out on Deutschlandfunk for a much more robust and firm external border protection. He could imagine a complete asylum procedure taking place at the EU’s external borders, said Karner: “If you have functioning external border protection, then you can also ensure that there are proper controls at these borders and that fast procedures can also be carried out. “
According to a survey, a large majority of Germans support the principle of conducting asylum procedures at the EU’s external borders in future – even if the details of how the project will be implemented have not yet been determined. For 79 percent this proposal goes in the right direction, for one in ten (11 percent) in the wrong direction. This was the result of a representative survey by Infratest dimap for the ARD Germany trend. Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told the “Spiegel” about the ongoing negotiations at EU level: “Perhaps we can get a minimal compromise on the asylum procedures at the external borders. But I don’t think there will be a quick, comprehensive breakthrough.”
The leader of the Greens parliamentary group, Britta Haßelmann, emphasized in the RTL/ntv program “Frühstart”: “We cannot focus the debate on how best to isolate ourselves.” At the prime ministers’ conference on Wednesday, it should rather be discussed how the municipalities can be specifically supported. This affects, for example, sufficient living space, increased integration measures and more money for particularly burdened municipalities.
Ramelow calls for lane changes for asylum seekers
Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (left) reiterated his call for a change of lane for asylum seekers. “I would like to give a certain group of people who are there anyway the opportunity to withdraw their asylum application in order to give them the prospect of staying in return – as if we had recruited them as migrant workers,” Ramelow told the editorial network Germany (RND ). If someone is entitled to be recruited via labor migration, “then I don’t have to deport them beforehand,” Ramelow told the German Press Agency.
The Hessian Prime Minister Boris Rhein spoke to the “Handelsblatt” in favor of aligning the financing of refugee costs by the federal government with the number of new arrivals in the future. “The federal government must return to a so-called snooty billing, which means: instead of a lump sum for the states, billing is per capita again,” demanded the CDU politician. The more refugees come, the more money there is.
The federal government sees the states and municipalities financially relieved
There was a monthly flat rate of 670 euros per capita for the duration of the asylum procedure until the end of 2021. However, the federal government refers to other measures that result in financial relief for the federal states and municipalities. For example, war refugees from Ukraine do not have to go through an asylum procedure and are immediately entitled to citizen benefits or other social benefits for which the federal government has to pay. The costs for asylum seekers who have not yet been recognized are borne by the federal states and local authorities.
Deputy government spokesman Büchner emphasized that receiving and caring for refugees is a task for the federal states and local authorities. The federal government is already providing them with comprehensive financial and logistical support, which has been increasing since 2015. From the federal government’s point of view, it is important “to digitize migration administration and create cross-authority data exchange”, as well as to consistently combat irregular migration and open up regular migration routes. To this end, they want to conclude migration agreements with countries of origin. At the same time, it is necessary to “consistently expel people without a right to stay, as well as criminals and people who are dangerous.”
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.