German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling Social Democrats (SPD) signaled on Sunday their willingness to outsource asylum applications to Africa, as proposed by their liberal coalition partner the FDP, ahead of a key meeting of Monday when they will be pressed to adopt new measures to combat irregularities. migration.
The possibility of sending irregular migrants back to Africa to process asylum applications should be examined as soon as possible, say senior FDP MPs said EURACTIV and South German Zeitung last week, spurred by similar proposals from the right-wing opposition.
While Scholz and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser – both SPD – had initially expressed reservations about the idea, SPD co-leader Lars Klingbeil confirmed on Sunday that the SPD would not oppose it.
“If (migration agreements with African countries) also allow asylum applications to be processed in those countries, then we should consider doing that,” Klingbeil said. ZDF on Sunday.
The idea is reminiscent of the British government’s controversial plan to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing, announced last year, and the German coalition pledged to revisit the same proposal in its 2021 coalition deal. But only now, with increased arrivals leading to tougher rhetoric and increased pressure on the government to tackle irregular migration, is the proposal back on the table .
At Monday’s summit with regional prime ministers, expectations are high that Scholz will agree on new countermeasures, not least because the chancellor had previously promised close cooperation with the states and the opposition on migration.
The government must adopt a “package of measures”, Friedrich Merz, leader of the main center-right opposition party, the CDU, told ARD television on Sunday, referring to the opposition’s catalog of 26 demands, which include better protection of the EU’s external borders and federal support for making migrant benefits non-cash.
Meanwhile, regional states and municipalities are seeking more federal money to support the accommodation of asylum seekers.
“Ultimately, Monday will not be insignificant for Germany’s political future,” said Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff. dpa.
(Nick Alipour | Euractiv.de)