Will there be a breakthrough in the negotiations over the planned EU asylum reform? Faeser is optimistic before the EU interior ministers’ meeting. The hurdles are high, especially for a German government party.
After the intervention of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser sees progress in the discussions about a controversial core element of the planned European asylum reform. “We have come a long way in the negotiations tonight,” said the SPD politician before a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels.
Individual aspects of the so-called crisis regulation are still being negotiated. But she is very confident that Germany will still achieve certain points. There were differences of opinion within the traffic light coalition regarding the crisis regulation.
Germany under pressure
Germany has come under increasing pressure in recent days because of its lack of approval for the crisis regulation. On Wednesday, according to information from government circles, the Chancellor announced in the cabinet that it should no longer be blocked.
The crisis regulation is a central element of the planned EU asylum reform, which is intended, among other things, to limit unwanted migration. For example, if there is a particularly strong increase in migration, the period during which people can be held in prison-like conditions should be extended. In addition, the circle of people who are eligible for the planned strict border procedures could be increased.
In Brussels, the federal government had previously explained its rejection of the proposal for the regulation by saying that this set of rules could enable EU states to unacceptably lower protection standards for migrants. In Germany, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and other Green Party politicians recently surprisingly expressed fears that the crisis rules could create “incentives for large numbers of unregistered refugees to be forwarded to Germany.”
Green Party leader: “Chaos regulation” for Germany
The Green Party leader Omid Nouripour told the news channel “Welt” on Wednesday evening that the current draft of the crisis regulation would lead to states “simply piloting people through to Germany”. He described the project as a “chaos regulation” for Germany. “The crisis regulation has passages that are like a stick of dynamite behind all the regulations that are in the rest of the reform,” he said.
The Council of EU Member States in Brussels suspected that this argument could be connected to the upcoming state elections in Hesse and Bavaria, because this line had not played a role in the EU negotiations to date. According to the plans for asylum reform, member states would have to register all arriving people even if there was a sharp increase in migration.
A possible extension of deadlines for this would only be possible with the prior consent of the Council of Member States. The same applies to the weakening of protection standards. Even in a crisis situation, there are still a number of control options to prevent misuse.
Delay in asylum reform is explosive
As soon as the dispute over the crisis regulation has been resolved, negotiations with the European Parliament that are important for the reform can probably continue. Parliament recently announced that it would block parts of the talks until the EU states had positioned themselves on the issue of crisis regulations.
A delay in asylum reform is particularly explosive because of the approaching European elections in June 2024. Projects that have not yet been negotiated with the governments of the member states could then be called into question again and be delayed for a long time. In the case of the planned reform of the asylum system, this would be a particularly big setback. The project has been in the works for years. Right-wing parties in particular, such as the AfD, have long accused the EU of failing in the fight against illegal migration.
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.