Thursday, September 28, 2023

EU asylum compromise: Germany likes to wait

Daily Mirror EU asylum compromise: Germany likes to wait Article by Christoph von Marschall • 3 hours. Berlin has long prevented a European solution to the migration crisis - to the annoyance of its EU partners. And to the detriment of German municipalities, which are at their limits. Why so late, Mr. Scholz? In Brussels there is a mockery of the Germans on pressing European issues: “the German vote”. Germany is abstaining because the ministries involved cannot reach an agreement. Because they are led by different parties in the coalition. Formerly the Union and SPD in the GroKo, today the SPD, Greens and FDP in the traffic lights. Should environmental concerns or economic interests take precedence when it comes to emissions and exhaust gas values? Or, in the current dispute over asylum reform, internal security or humanitarian considerations? But if the EU state with the largest population and strongest economy cannot make a decision, common policy is often blocked. Then the EU will have to wait. This is the dark underside of German coalitions. Two different German speeds Chancellor Olaf Scholz has now spoken out in migration policy: Berlin is ending the blockade of the crisis regulation, which is a central part of the EU asylum reform. He stands behind the SPD Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and against the Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. He certainly built a bridge for the Greens through other concessions. But why so late? The Brussels mockery has long since turned into a drama. Many partners view Germany's reluctance to make decisions with anger and lack of understanding. Who will suffer the greatest damage if the migration crisis worsens due to delays in solutions? The German municipalities, most EU partners would answer. They have long since reached the limits of their capacity again. Scholz likes to praise Germany’s “tempo” – and means quick decisions. The dispute over asylum and migration shows the true pace of Germany. Scholz avoids conflict as long as possible. He leaves central issues to the framing of the agitators on the right and left, instead of addressing them at an early stage with proposals that attract a majority. Moral commitment pressure: AfD or Greens This makes a pragmatic factual debate more difficult. The AfD claims that you can easily stop migration if you want to. Many Greens act as if it is a force of nature that cannot be influenced. Arguments hardly count anymore, it's about moral pressure: Are you on the side of the bad guys or the good guys? The dispute is also raging in Europe. There, too, the extremes dominate the discourse if the thoughtful ones do not make their voices heard, forge and implement compromises that can reach a majority. That's why a clear German stance is important. How can we better protect the EU's external border? Should asylum procedures be moved to the external border? This would greatly reduce one of today's main problems - how to get those rejected to leave the country. It is important to carefully consider what is responsible and what is not. Other points of contention in the German debate also have a downside: the upper limit and the transformation of the individual right to asylum into an institutional guarantee. Today, only a few people are entitled to asylum in Germany. People who make it here have passed through several safe states where they could seek asylum. If most migrants were to be turned away at the EU's external border and directed to countries that were safe for them on their way, there would be a risk that these often fragile states would be destabilized through overload. The EU would have to commit to buying some of it from them. An upper limit of up to 200,000 persecuted people per year is being discussed for Germany. There is another reason for the anger towards Germany: the tendency of many Germans to be arrogant. Be it reception camps in Greece, asylum procedures in Italy, more benefits in kind instead of money in France, not to mention the conditions in safe third countries like Tunisia or Moldova: Hardly anything meets German demands. Of course, justified suspicions of legal violations, for example through pushbacks, must be investigated. But the attempt to impose German ideas in Europe can provoke a backlash: the Germans should see how they can cope with mass migration on their own. That didn't work in 2015. 2023 will show again: It can only be done together. Germany must do its part for a European solution.