The German federal government will offer €64.5 billion over the next four years to deal with the consequences of the influx of migrants since 2015, with the money focused on integrating migrants and stopping the sources of flight, according to data from the German Finance Ministry.
For the year 2021 alone, the German Ministry of Finance is planning to spend €20.1 billion, reported Der Spiegel.
The majority of the financial resources will be used to combat the reasons why people migrant from their countries of origin, with €25.4 billion directed towards this purpose by 2024. This money could be used, for example, to build schools, infrastructure, and programs to reduce corruption in Third World countries, in order to encourage people to have less reason to flee.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to spend another €8.2 billion on integration measures. At the same time, social benefits for migrants in Germany will amount to €22.9 billion.
Given the enormous economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, which the German state has already reacted to by spending billions, the extra cost of migrants is sure to raise questions about the sustainability of such spending over the long-term.
Over 1.2 billion migrants could try to reach Europe
Hungary has in the past encouraged more aid to countries at their source, and has launched its own initiatives through the Hungary Helps program. In a blog post this year for Hungary Helps, MEP György Hölvényi wrote that migration can be halted with the right financial aid to poorer countries.
“First we must create security and stability, without which sustainable development is impossible to achieve. In order to provide long-term solutions, we must also invest in education and tuition to help alleviate one of the key problems of African economies: the lack of an educated workforce,” he wrote. “An educated workforce in healthcare and other sectors of the economy is instrumental in reinforcing local communities and contribute to building a more stable and sustainable society and economy.”
Although there is hope that such aid programs could help stem the migrant wave from the Middle East and Africa, the rapidly growing populations in those regions coupled with endemic corruption, could mean that another massive wave could hit Europe over the coming years. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) indicates that 1.2 billion individuals could be displaced due to food and water shortages over the next 30 years, with many of them setting course for Europe and North America.
Germany has already paid enormous costs
Last week, the German Ministry of Labor reported that refugees and their family members cost the state €6 billion every year. The information was released in response to a parliamentary request from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
In May alone, the social costs for unemployed and low-income migrants and their family and household members amounted to more than €551 million euros.
Germany has also paid enormous costs for training, employing and integrating refugees. In 2018, the German government spent a record €23 billion on migrants, including rent subsidies, jobless payments, language lessons, and other benefits. That figure does not account for what individual states spent either, with Hamburg’s government releasing data showing it spent €5.35 billion on asylum seekers between 2015 and the end of 2019.
Migrants have also affected Germans in a variety of ways that may not show up in the German Finance Ministry data, but they are undoubtedly important to assessing the overall impact of Germany’s migrant crisis. For example, an elderly German couple was recently evicted from their home of 25 years in order to make room for refugees, which is just one of many such eviction cases.
At the same time, Germany has spent enormous law enforcement resources, both in terms of time and money, monitoring jihadists. For example, Germans have already spent €5 million to ensure 24/7 surveillance and a four-officer police detail to ensure one high-risk radical Islamist does not commit a terrorist attack in the country. The disproportionately high amount of migrant crime has also cost the state enormous resources.