Germany gives green light to new asylum regulation

2023-09-28 10:03:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Germany gives green light to new asylum regulation

Germany is expected to abandon its opposition to the proposed solution to the crisis in European asylum policy. According to information from the ARD studio, Chancellor Olaf Scholz decided at the cabinet meeting that Berlin "will neither stop nor block" the reform of the European asylum system in Brussels. "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reports, referring to government circles, that the chancellor "exercised his authority".

The crisis regulation is part of the Common European Asylum System (GEAS). This regulation has been the subject of controversy in Germany, especially among the liberal FDP and the Greens. The General Secretary of the FDP, Bijan Djir-Sarai, severely criticized the line followed so far by the Greens. "Whether for reforms at the European level or for the classification of safe countries of origin: in terms of migration policy, the Greens represent a risk to the security of the country and make it difficult, through positions far from reality, to coherent government action and cross-party solutions ", he said. The CDU/CSU opposition also criticized the federal government for jeopardizing the entire reform of the GEAS system by blocking it.

The Greens criticize

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said on the X platform (ex-Twitter) that the regulation could "encourage the transfer of large numbers of unregistered refugees to Germany". The spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated again at noon that the crisis regulation could not be approved in this form.

DP, on the other hand, is in favor of the project - and supports its approval. Finance Minister and party leader Christian Lindner said during a government question session in the Bundestag: "I am convinced in the meantime that the federal government will approve the asylum package at the European level." This involves a fundamental paradigm shift, including protecting Europe's external borders, simplifying asylum procedures and "shifting the submission of an asylum claim outside the European Union". The federal government assumes its responsibilities.

Lower standards for migrants

The EU regulation provides for special rules in case of particularly high migration pressure. These include longer deadlines for registering asylum seekers at external borders and the possibility of lower standards for accommodation and care. Stricter rules may also apply to people from countries with high recognition rates.

The German organization Pro Asyl criticized a possible adoption of the regulation. "It would be a gift to the supporters of the extreme right in Europe. Because they clearly define the political agenda of the EU", explained Pro Asyl.

Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria also oppose the regulation, but for a different reason: they want special, even stricter rules in the event of a crisis.

Pressure, but no deal in sight

EU interior ministers meet on Thursday (28.09.) in Brussels to discuss the EU's controversial asylum reform. "It consists of several parts, ten parts of laws to be exact, and one of these parts is crisis management," explains Jonas Wixforth of ARD. If Germany were to block this part, the entire asylum reform would be put in jeopardy.

Ministers are under pressure because important parts of the reform have been suddenly frozen. Last week, the European Parliament suspended negotiations on two draft laws because EU member states had not yet reached a common position.

The pressure on the discussions is so strong, across all parties, because the EU wants to pass asylum reform before the European elections in June 2024. For this, the Commission's deadline envisages the conclusion of the asylum negotiations by February 2024. From a purely formal point of view , an agreement on the regulation of the crisis can be reached even outside the meetings of the EU interior ministers in Brussels./ DW




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