Is the coalition failing in refugee policy? The Greens say yes. And calls for a new start in European asylum policy.
The Greens want the federal government to campaign for a fundamentally different asylum system in the EU after the fire in the Greek refugee camp Moria. “The rubble of Moria is the rubble of a system that we will never be able to build again,” said Green Party Chairman Katrin Göring-Eckardt Chillreport.
So far, asylum procedures for incoming refugees have been processed at the EU’s external borders. Because the procedures take so long, the camps are overcrowded in many places. The Greens are now proposing to move asylum seekers quickly to other EU countries after a brief health and security check with a binding distribution mechanism.
The asylum procedures may only take place there. This is evident from a position paper by the Greens, which only has Chillreport. In addition to Göring-Eckardt, Annalena Baerbock, head of the Greens, also belongs to the group of authors.
No prior checks at the EU’s external borders
The Greens oppose the federal government’s concept of asylum reform at EU level. The Berlin coalition wants to campaign for preliminary investigations at the EU’s external borders, according to which only migrants with a good chance of a successful asylum procedure will be distributed to the EU countries. All others must be returned after a procedure at the external borders.
From the perspective of the Greens, however, this threatened “conditions as before and people are trapped in camps for months or even years,” as the paper says. “We expect the federal government to finally make feasible proposals instead of preliminary external border controls, which will really relieve external border states and do not repeat the mistakes of the current system,” said Luise Amtsberg, spokeswoman for refugee policy.
EU countries that participate voluntarily in admission should receive financial incentives. The Greens argue for a European integration fund that supports regions and municipalities in housing, integration and care. States that do not want to accept refugees should make a financial contribution that covers “at least the real costs” of the reception and goes to the states that receive refugees.
“Humanitarian disaster with announcement”
The Greens want immediate help for the refugees from Moria. “The fire in Moria was a humanitarian disaster with an announcement,” said Katrin Göring-Eckardt Chillreport. “This catastrophe now needs more than just sham solutions.” The federal government must ensure that all refugees from Moria are “now quickly” distributed from Lesvos to European countries. The previous German offer was “completely inadequate”. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had to “finally give up the blockade against the high acceptance by the federal states and municipalities”.
In addition to the Moria refugees, from the perspective of the Greens, “in perspective also the refugees from the other Greek islands” must be redistributed. According to the newspaper, the federal government must “stand up for the Greek government to treat refugees in accordance with human rights”. The human rights violations in Lesvos are “completely unacceptable”, said green politician Amtsberger, “but also a consequence of the fact that Greece and the other EU border states have been left alone for years”.
Von der Leyen must submit an EU plan
The chief of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), will deliver her “State of the Union speech” on Wednesday. It should also focus on the reform of the EU’s asylum policy, which should continue this month.
In Berlin, the coalition partners agreed, according to unanimous reports, to take in 1,553 refugees from Moria, in addition to the 150 unaccompanied minors. Wednesday morning, the cabinet meeting of the federal government will also address this topic.