• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024


    Allways With You

    Germany agrees to consider UK-style plan on processing asylum abroad


    Nov 8, 2023

    BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has pledged to “examine” whether asylum applications could be processed abroad.

    It marks a further hardening of the government’s position on illegal migration, as parties seek to counter electoral gains by the far right.

    The idea sounds reminiscent of the UK’s deal with Rwanda, where migrants in Britain may be sent to claim asylum.

    But the chancellor is openly skeptical having only agreed to the proposal after a late-night meeting.

    It was at nearly 03:00 (2:00 GMT) on Tuesday that Olaf Scholz emerged from the marathon session with regional leaders.

    In the agreement cut with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, there is a short passage on third-country deals that appears almost begrudgingly inserted into the 17-page document.

    “The Federal Government will examine whether the protection status of refugees can also be determined in transit or third countries in the future, in compliance with the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

    It’s vague and non-committal, as was Chancellor Scholz during the press conference. “There are also a whole series of legal questions,” he cautioned.

    There are many practical questions about how such a scheme would be put into effect, but the prospect of processing asylum claims abroad is now being more openly discussed in Germany.

    Neighboring Austria recently expressed interest in a similar scheme.

    Hendrik Wüst, the Christian Democratic (CDU) premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, warned against dismissing Rwanda-style schemes as “sinister neo-colonialism.”

    “If you do that, we will not meet the challenges of a global migration crisis,” he said.

    Proposals have also emerged from within the ranks of the governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Free Democratic Party (FDP).

    They range from reviving the 2016 EU-Turkey deal, which stemmed the influx of migrants into Greece, to setting up new agreements with Senegal, Morocco or Rwanda.

    It is unclear whether successful applicants could then proceed to Germany or would have to stay in the third country in which their claim was processed.

    The UK’s Rwanda deal, which is being contested in the courts, would see some asylum seekers sent to the East African state where they may be granted the right to remain.

    No asylum seekers have been sent from the UK to Rwanda since the deal was agreed in 2022.

    In Germany, government and opposition parties are striking an increasingly tough tone on migration.

    The harder line is widely seen as a response to the increasing popularity of the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).

    After his meeting with regional leaders, Scholz also promised to provide extra cash for local authorities and cut benefits for asylum seekers.

    He described the migration agreement as a “historic moment”.

    In the first nine months of this year, 230,000 people requested asylum in Germany — more than in the whole of 2022.

    Across Europe, leaders are trying to show their electorates they are getting a grip on irregular migration.

    On Monday, Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced plans to host illegal migrants in two centers in Albania.

    The nationalist leader is at home delivering a fiery, anti-immigration message.

    For Germany’s center-left chancellor, this conversation is far less comfortable. Many within his own party and his Green coalition partners are highly critical of any move to outsource asylum claims. — BBC

    Source link