Planned refugee summit: Municipalities call for a “master plan”

Planned refugee summit: Municipalities call for a “master plan”

The municipalities complain that they are overburdened with caring for refugees. Now there will soon be a “refugee summit”.

A person pushes folding beds down an aisle

An interim refugee accommodation of the Johanniter on the grounds of the Dresden exhibition center Photo: Sylvio Dittrich/imago

BERLIN taz | In advance of the upcoming refugee summit Green migration politician Filiz Polat calls for more reliance on the social networks of those seeking protection when distributing refugees. “It is estimated that around 30 percent of the people who seek protection here already have relatives in Germany,” Polat told the taz. “If we could organize accommodation directly with the family, that would be one of the fastest and most unbureaucratic ways to relieve initial reception facilities and municipalities.” At the same time, it promotes the integration of people.

On Sunday, after sustained pressure from the municipalities, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) announced that a “refugee summit” would be convened again in the next two to three weeks. At this meeting, the federal government should discuss problems with the distribution, accommodation and care of refugees with representatives of the federal states and municipalities. The Federal Commissioner for Integration and the Federal Minister for Building will also take part.

For a long time, many municipalities have complained that their capacities for housing and caring for people have been exhausted. Accordingly, the general manager of the Association of Towns and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, demanded this at the forthcoming summit must have a “real master plan” come out.

Scholz urges consistent deportation

Instead of the Federal Minister of the Interior, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) must take care of the matter, criticized Reinhard Sager, President of the German District Association. The Union faction teased that the municipalities didn’t need a “summit” at Faeser, but a “real summit” in the Federal Chancellery. More important than the personal details is “that sustainable strategies are finally found instead of short-term solutions in order to enable all refugees to arrive safely,” explained Clara Bünger, spokeswoman for the Left Group on refugee policy.

If there are bottlenecks in the municipalities with regard to accommodation and supplies, “isolation is no longer the solution, but massive investments must be made in affordable housing, daycare centers and schools,” says Bünger. It was only at the weekend that Chancellor Scholz called for the consistent deportation of rejected asylum seekers.

The Green Filiz Polat also objects to linking supply problems with the debate on deportations. “I don’t see any connection at first,” she told the taz. “The main countries of origin are clearly war and crisis areas, and we have a humanitarian and legal obligation to help these people.” There is also a good reason for a ban on deportation for many rejected asylum seekers, for example from Afghanistan or Iran.

Polat also rejected the plans of the new migration special representative Joachim Stamp (FDP). He had suggested carrying out German asylum procedures abroad – for example in North African countries. Something like that is practical, but also not feasible under international law: “We Greens reject the transfer of asylum procedures abroad,” said Polat.

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