Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has announced additional border controls at the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic. We are currently in discussions with the countries about this. Meanwhile, the FDP renewed its criticism of the Greens, who reject constant border controls.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has announced additional measures to combat smuggling crime at the borders with the Czech Republic and Poland. “In order to stop smugglers, we are now preparing additional controls at our borders with Poland and the Czech Republic,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group (online Monday, print Tuesday). “We are linking our additional measures very closely to the already greatly intensified veil search throughout the border area.”
She is in close contact with her counterparts in the Czech Republic and Poland in order to “take well-coordinated measures”. “My goal is to put maximum investigative pressure on smugglers and to protect people who are smuggled across borders in life-threatening conditions, often without water and hardly any oxygen,” said Faeser. At the weekend there were contacts with the Czech Interior Minister and, at a high official level, also with the Polish side, the ministry said. Faeser will also discuss the issue with her Polish counterpart before the EU Interior Ministers’ meeting this Thursday, so that additional measures can be taken very quickly.
Most refugees come to Germany from these countries
The number of smuggling and unauthorized entries is increasing
The number of smuggling and unauthorized entries across the German-Polish border in Brandenburg continues to rise significantly. In the past two weeks, 550 people were found to have been brought illegally across the border, said Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) on Monday. On average, there are 50 people caught illegally entering the country per day – after an average of 35 in August. Eight smugglers were caught. “The increase in illegal smuggling, especially across the German-Polish border, is beyond all scope,” said Stübgen during a visit to the Spree-Neiße district.
According to the head of the interior department, most of these migrants come from Syria, followed by people from Turkey, and smaller groups come from India, Afghanistan and Iraq.
There have been temporary border controls in Bavaria on the border with Austria since autumn 2015. They are registered by the Federal Ministry of the Interior with the EU Commission and each time extended. For other border sections, Faeser has not yet considered such controls, which must be requested in Brussels about a month in advance, to be useful.
Greens don’t believe in border controls
The Greens, on the other hand, do not consider constant controls directly at the border and the issuance of benefits in kind to asylum seekers, also proposed by Union politicians and the FDP, to be suitable measures to deal with the current refugee immigration. The distribution of benefits in kind is already permitted, said co-chairman Omid Nouripour on Monday in Berlin after a meeting of the party executive committee. However, it is rarely practiced because of the large amount of work involved for the municipalities. Mobile checks are also better than stationary checks at the German borders because of the burden on the federal police, he added.
The Green politician emphasized that there are neither easy nor quick solutions in refugee policy. That’s why the politicians of the democratic parties would do well to “refrain from using slogans.” Some statements made by political competitors in the past few days were obviously due to the state election campaigns in Hesse and Bavaria.
From the Greens’ perspective, municipalities need to be relieved of the financial burden quickly so that they can manage the accommodation and integration of refugees. It is also important that agreements on migration and repatriation are agreed with countries of origin as quickly as possible. The “labor market integration engine” also needs to be turned on more quickly. To achieve this, the opportunity to switch from the asylum procedure to employment migration should be used. “Changing lanes – that’s the order of the day,” said Nouripour.
204,000 asylum applications by the end of August
By the end of August, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees registered more than 204,000 initial applications for asylum – an increase of 77 percent compared to the same period last year. More than a million war refugees from Ukraine also need to be accommodated and cared for.
Meanwhile, FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai reiterated his criticism of the green coalition partner. The federal government must have a common understanding of the reality in the country when it comes to migration, he said after discussions with the FDP presidium. “It won’t work if a coalition partner sees things differently or holds up pan-European solutions through concerns.” Djir-Sarai said at the weekend: “Whether with reforms at the European level or with the classification of safe countries of origin: the Greens are a security risk for the country in migration policy and, through unrealistic positions, make consistent government action and cross-party solutions more difficult.”
Meanwhile, the federal and state governments continue to disagree about how they will share the costs of caring for refugees in Germany. There were different assessments from participants about the outcome of a working group video conference on Monday. However, it was unanimously said that there was still no agreement on the amount of the federal government’s future investments. There were different views on how the federal government’s current offer to the states for 2024 should be fundamentally assessed in the negotiations.
Dispute over costs
The question of how much money the federal government will provide for accommodation has been controversial for months in view of the increasing number of refugees and will also be the subject of a federal-state summit in November. In mid-May, the federal government promised the states one billion euros as an additional contribution for this year. This is intended to support them in relieving the burden on their municipalities and financing the digitalization of the immigration authorities. In the future, however, states and municipalities want a so-called breathing system in which payments are permanently based on the actual number of refugees.
Because of the current heated debate about irregular migration, the escalating situation in the municipalities and the state election campaigns, an agreement between the federal and state governments is currently seen as a show of strength.
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.