The federal government continues to investigate asylum procedures in third countries

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Written By Maya Cantina


The federal government wants to investigate asylum procedures in countries outside the United States European Union continue and present concrete results by December. This is the result of a meeting between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) with the heads of government of the states in Berlin.

After the new meeting at the highest level, the Chancellor said: “There is a firm agreement that we will continue the process and report on these issues.” At the same time, Scholz tempered possible expectations.

Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) asked experts for advice on the legal and practical requirements for asylum checks in third countries. When asked what options are available, Scholz said: “I think it’s too early.”

Model Italy – Albania?

A model such as Italy has in mind, with a transfer of asylum procedures for boat migrants to Albania, is excluded for Germany given its different geographical location, according to Scholz. The same applies to the British model, where refugees are flown to Rwanda. In these countries there are 3,000 and 6,000 people affected respectively. “It only has a little to do with the size that Germany is dealing with.”

The Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Conference, the Prime Minister of Hesse, Boris Rhein (CDU), said: “We don’t just stop at reports, which I very much welcome.” At the initiative of the Union, the prime ministers had agreed before their meeting with Scholz on a resolution calling on the federal government to present ‘concrete models’ for asylum procedures in third countries or transit countries.

The SPD side was nevertheless skeptical that such a scheme could significantly slow irregular immigration. “I do not believe this will be a solution to our structural problems,” said Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephan Weil.

Scholz said the federal government would also promote deportations of serious criminals and “threats” to Afghanistan and Syria. The Federal Minister of the Interior has already started discussions about this and says we are “on the right track”.

For Bavaria and Saxony (both governed by the Union), the state resolutions had not gone far enough. They presented a five-point plan that includes a demand for “immediate arrest” of criminals and dangerous people who must leave the country and who cannot be deported. The Union has long been pushing for an arrangement whereby migrants either undergo asylum procedures in transit countries on their way to Europe, or are sent to third countries outside the EU after arriving in Germany.

Thuringia and Bremen expressed their dissatisfaction with the new agreements in a statement for the minutes. They wonder whether moving asylum procedures meets the requirements of the rule of law and humanity.

Payment card: Maximum 50 euros in cash per month

For the planned payment card for asylum seekers, the states have agreed to limit cash payments to 50 euros per month. Rhein spoke of an important sign. The payment card should be launched in the summer, when the tender for the service provider has ended. At the end of January, 14 of the 16 states reached agreement on a joint tender process for the payment card. Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern go their own way. However, Bremen and Thuringia proposed a “cash corridor from 50 to 120 euros” instead of 50 euros in cash per month due to different regional requirements. Against this background, Rhineland-Palatinate opposed a ‘rigid definition’ of 50 euros.

Border controls have the Prime Minister’s approval

The country’s leaders welcomed the additional controls introduced in October at the borders with the Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland. The decision states that the Federal Police I already use internal border controls to refuse refugees entering from another EU Member State, in accordance with legal options. The Chancellor and government leaders believe that a new version of the EU Return Directive should be drafted in such a way that rejections can be implemented “in a practical way”.

Rhine: Creating conditions for deportation to other countries

Rhein also called on the federal government to quickly create the conditions for the planned deportations to Syria and Afghanistan. The states welcomed Scholz’s announcement that serious criminals and terrorist threats would be deported to countries such as Syria or Afghanistan, and that deportation rules would also be tightened if terrorist crimes were approved, he said. “As countries we expressly recognize our responsibility, which of course we also have in this matter, when it comes to deportations,” he said. But in order to deport people, countries needed repatriation agreements with countries of origin.

No agreement between the federal and state governments on mandatory insurance

Meanwhile, the federal government did not give in to states’ demands for nationwide mandatory insurance against floods and other natural hazards. “The compulsory insurance required by the Länder would make life in Germany more expensive, lead to a lot of bureaucracy and would not relieve the state of its financial liability,” said the responsible Federal Minister of Justice, Marco Buschmann.FDP), the negative attitude of the government.

Further discussions should take place. According to the states’ ideas, companies should offer a contract to any homeowner who wants to insure against natural hazards. Until now, homeowners have sometimes been unable to find insurance for buildings in high-flood risk areas who are willing to take on the high risk. Only about half of private buildings in Germany have basic insurance.

Scholz sees progress: ‘We are making Germany faster’

Scholz saw progress in collaboration between the federal and state governments for faster approval processes. He said after the meeting that 80 percent of the projects from the German pact for acceleration of planning and approval have now been implemented or are being implemented. “We make Germany faster.”

An announcement: This report is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa), which operates according to strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or controlled by the AZ online editors. Feel free to send questions and comments

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