Specifically, the point is that “asylum procedures can already take place at the borders,” emphasized Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. “That means that the registration and recording and identification of the refugees will take place there,” said the minister on German television. In the course of a “reconciliation” within the EU, the “solidarity of the other states” is then required. Those who meet the requirements for asylum must then also be admitted. A “major change” is emerging in European asylum policy, explained Faeser. The ruling traffic light coalition has now agreed “that we want to advance this common asylum system”.
Since the refugee crisis of 2015, the EU has failed to agree on a comprehensive reform of the European asylum system. Faeser now sees an opportunity for Europe to move forward together in asylum policy. “We are now seeing historic momentum that we can work with other European countries to get a common asylum system off the ground, where asylum procedures take place at the borders,” she said.
Faeser said she had been in talks with other EU countries about the details of the new procedure for months. Germany is working with France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Belgium, among others. A processing time for asylum applications of a maximum of twelve weeks is under discussion.
Declare more countries safe countries of origin?
In the meantime, before the planned refugee summit on May 10 in Berlin, some prime ministers of the CDU and SPD are in favor of expanding the list of safe countries of origin. The first parliamentary director of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, is demanding more money from the federal government for the accommodation of refugees. “First of all, it’s about giving the municipalities better financial support because they are the ones who suffer from the federal government’s migration policy,” said Frei. “The 2.75 billion euros earmarked for this year so far are clearly not enough, because the challenges relate to integration overall, to daycare centers, to schools, to housing and much more,” said the CDU politician out of. “The second point is that migration must be controlled and limited.”
So-called safe countries of origin are countries where it is generally assumed that there is neither political persecution nor inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. This should enable faster asylum decisions and deportations.
In the opinion of Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD), an expansion of the circle of safe countries of origin would speed up the asylum procedures at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the administrative courts and relieve the burden on states and municipalities, as a Senate spokesman said. “In particular, countries such as Georgia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and India, which have a large number of asylum procedures with an extremely low protection rate, would be conceivable.” This would not affect the individual right to an individual assessment in the asylum procedure.
Association of cities sees capacity limits reached
The German Association of Towns and Municipalities called on the federal and state governments to initiate a fresh start in migration policy at the refugee summit. “Many municipalities have long since reached their capacity limits when it comes to accommodation, integration, and the creation of daycare and school places. The volunteers are also exhausted,” said General Manager Gerd Landsberg of the Funke media group. Therefore, one must come to a reduction in the number of refugees. “The necessary measures include fair distribution in Germany and Europe, better protection of the EU’s external borders and the consistent repatriation of people who are obliged to leave the country.” In addition, the pressure on the countries of origin, which do not want to take back their citizens who are obliged to leave the country, must be increased.
kle/wa (dpa, afp, rtr)