Some Green Party politicians demand change in Germany’s ‘failed’ migration policy

The initiative calling for more effective integration and clearer communication is also being supported by regional governments

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Handelsblatt
German federal police guide a group of migrants on their way after crossing the border between Austria and Germany in Wegscheid, near Passau, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

A group of German Green politicians is calling for a radical change in what they call Germany’s “failed migration policy,” and municipalities agree, business daily Handelsblatt reports.

The chief executive of the Association of Towns and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, has welcomed the call by a group of Green politicians for a tougher asylum policy. “We need a turnaround in migration policy, also to ensure social acceptance,” Landsberg told Handelsblatt. “This includes more effective integration, clearer communication, also toward the arriving people, and active participation from the asylum seekers.”

Earlier, a group within the Green Party had called for a change of course in refugee policy in light of the completely overburdened municipalities. It calls itself “Vert Realos,” meaning “Real Greens.”

In a paper titled “Memorandum for a different migration policy in Germany,” the group warns of a shift to the right “should citizens continue to lose their sense of security and migrants not be perceived as a normality in the neighborhood.”

Germany alone, without European cooperation, cannot take in all the refugees, emphasize the signatories, including Rebecca Harms, the former Greens–European Free Alliance president in the European Parliament, and Tübingen’s mayor, Boris Palmer.

Landsberg, who is a member of the conservative CDU, stressed that it is of course necessary to help people who are being persecuted or who have come from war zones such as Ukraine, but this is also a European challenge, he said.

“It cannot be that Germany bears the main burden and the other EU states take in significantly fewer people,” said the head of the association of cities. The principle in Europe, he said, must be: Help, distribute fairly, but also protect the external borders effectively. “This is also indispensable for acceptance among our population.”

Criticism for a lack of “a clear integration concept”

The Green proposal is also being debated in the traffic light federal coalition. The FDP was open to the demands, while the SPD reacted cautiously. The spokesman for migration and integration of the SPD parliamentary group, Lars Castellucci, spoke of an “internal party matter” of the Green Party. “They should be happy to discuss it,” Castellucci told Handelsblatt. “If there are concerns in the coalition, it will be discussed openly.”

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