The emergency billion as an introduction to the dialogue


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Status: 05/11/2023 01:41 am

The agreement between the federal and state governments is a minimal solution – and yet a success, says Oliver Neuroth. But the hardest is yet to come. To develop a concept of how illegal migration can be limited.

A good start has been made. But the hardest is yet to come. The result of this federal-state meeting is a minimal solution. A kind of emergency aid. One billion euros, with which the cities and communities in need can better cope with caring for the many migrants – people in need.

The fact that the federal and state governments have reached this agreement at all – under the difficult conditions – is a success. And it is the beginning of another dialogue. In any case, no one had believed in the really big hit, in a complete reorganization of migration policy. And it wouldn’t have been good as a quick hit, the topic is too complex for that. If the digitization of the immigration authorities can also be pushed forward with the additional billion from the federal government, as the chancellor announces: all the better.

The federal government is providing the federal states with an additional one billion euros this year for the care of refugees.

Mammoth task still lies ahead

But the real work is yet to come: developing a concept for how illegal migration can be limited in the future. So that cities and municipalities do not get into situations again where they no longer know how many migrants they have to accommodate and care for. This is a mammoth task – combined with uncomfortable truths.

Deportations must be implemented more consistently, migration agreements with the countries of origin should be watertight. Not like the repatriation agreements, which have existed for decades and do not work in practice. Because Germany hardly offers its partner countries anything in exchange for taking back their citizens. Visa facilitation and scholarships for students at German universities are conceivable. Otherwise the countries of origin simply won’t play along with deportations.

Stricter border controls?

Another crucial question is: What happens at the border crossings? Stricter controls coming? Germany cannot answer that alone – only together with the EU. And they want a common right of asylum and a fair distribution of refugees across all member states. That would bring relief to Germany and solve many financial problems on its own.

Apropos: The basic decision about the costs of caring for refugees is also difficult. The states continue to insist that the federal government pays an amount per migrant and not a flat rate per year. This is understandable, because cities and municipalities need to be able to plan.

After all, the federal and state governments give themselves six months to negotiate this elementary financial issue. That is realistic to find a long-term solution. And that is exactly what is needed. We are now off to a good start. But the hardest is yet to come.

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