EU asylum reform: Greens are divided

Berlin After the German government approved the planned tightening of EU asylum rules, the Greens are facing a crucial test.

No sooner had the EU interior ministers sealed the unification of their states in Luxembourg than the dual leadership of the Green party and parliamentary group spoke up, each with two different assessments.

After the Greens, as part of the traffic light government with SPD and FDP, approved the difficult European compromise, some of the management staff publicly distanced themselves from it.

Co-leader Omid Nouripour responded with a series of tweets weighing up the pros and cons, stating: “Overall, I conclude that today’s approval is a necessary step to move forward in moving forward together in Europe.”

Nouripour represents the Realo wing. Co-Chairman Ricarda Lang, who represents the left wing of the party, sounded different. Germany “should not have agreed to the proposal for the CEAS reform in the Council today,” she wrote on Twitter.

“It’s a damn difficult decision that nobody made easy for themselves.” That’s why she has respect for everyone “who came to a different decision than I did in the overall assessment.” GEAS stands for Common European Asylum System. The faction leaders Britta Haßelmann (for) and Katharina Dröge (against) thought it was similar to the leaders of the party.

The two parliamentary group leaders Britta Haßelmann and Katharina Dröge expressed similar differences. Haßelmann defended the decision, Dröge opposed it.

Massive criticism also came from the European Parliament members of the Greens. “The EU member states have lost their moral compass,” complained the spokesman for the German Greens in the European Parliament, Rasmus Andresen.

“It is shameful that the German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, with the consent of the traffic light coalition, also approved this proposal.” .” The parliamentary group rejects the decision of the Council.

The leadership duo of the youth organization Green Youth, Timon Dzienus and Sarah-Lee Heinrich, said they were downright shocked. Dzienus wrote about the compromise on Twitter: “This is inhumane and I will not accept it like this”. Heinrich wrote: “I am stunned. Foreclosure does not ensure that fewer people flee. It means that more people are suffering.” Almost 500 Greens had recently warned of the asylum plans in a letter to top representatives of their party.

What was decided on EU asylum law

The asylum procedures in the EU are to be significantly tightened in view of the problems with illegal migration. A sufficiently large majority of ministers voted in favor of comprehensive reform plans. In particular, a much tougher treatment of migrants with no prospects of staying is planned.


In the future, people arriving from countries that are considered safe should come to strictly controlled reception facilities under conditions similar to detention after crossing the border.

(Photo: IMAGO/Olaf Schuelke)

In the future, people arriving from countries that are considered safe should come to strictly controlled reception facilities under conditions similar to detention after crossing the border. There, it would normally be checked within twelve weeks whether the applicant has a chance of asylum. If not, it should be sent back immediately.

In the negotiations, the federal government had emphatically advocated that families with children be exempted from the so-called border procedures. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (both Green) also spoke in this spirit. In order to make the breakthrough possible, however, they ultimately had to accept that this could be possible.

Faeser: The federal government wants to continue to advocate exceptions

After the decision, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said that the federal government, together with Portugal, Ireland and Luxembourg, would continue to advocate exceptions. It is also conceivable that the EU Parliament will push through changes. It has a say in the reform and will negotiate the project with representatives of the EU states in the coming months.

In addition to stricter asylum procedures, more solidarity with burdened EU countries

In addition, the plans decided on Thursday also provide for more solidarity with the heavily burdened member states at the EU’s external borders. In the future, it should no longer be voluntary, but mandatory. Countries that do not want to take in refugees would be forced to pay compensation.

>> Read here: “National borders would be an absolute disaster” – Economy calls for agreement on EU asylum reform

Countries like Hungary therefore voted against the plan. According to the Commissioner responsible, Ylva Johansson, rejected asylum seekers can in principle also be deported to non-EU countries in the future. The only requirement should be that they have a connection to this country.

Greens: What role do Habeck and Baerbock play

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Vice Chancellor Habeck defended the compromise, citing the need for agreement in Europe. “I have great respect for those who come to other ratings for humanitarian reasons,” Habeck told the German Press Agency. “I hope they also see that there are reasons to recognize this result.”

EU interior ministers agree on stricter asylum law

During her visit to Colombia on Thursday, Baerbock canceled part of her program in order to promote the compromise in video switching in the party and parliamentary group. Shortly after the agreement, she made her line publicly clear from Cali. “To be honest, if we as the federal government could have decided on the reform on our own, then it would look different,” she said. “But honesty also means that anyone who thinks this compromise is unacceptable accepts that no one will be distributed in the future.”

>> Read here: More refugees in Italy: right-wing government decides on state of emergency

In plain language: If the external border countries Italy and Greece had been outvoted in Luxembourg and not included in the compromise, the desired triad of registration, distribution and border procedures would hardly have worked anyway. The willingness of Rome or Athens to participate in the registration would then have been close to zero – and the whole concept would have failed.

>> Read here: “National borders would be an absolute disaster” – economy demands EU asylum reform

In her statement, Baerbock had already made it drastically clear what government responsibility meant for her in the balancing act: If Germany had voted against the compromise with Poland and Hungary, for example, “a joint European asylum policy based on solidarity would be dead for years.” All those who wanted to raise national walls in Europe anyway would have a free ticket. “This compromise was also necessary in order to preserve our Europe without controls at the internal borders,” she added.

With agency material.

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