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Worn down in Habeck's heating dispute: Will the Greens clear the traffic light field without a fight for asylum?

2023-06-05T12:11:32.084Z

Highlights: The Greens want to "fight hard" at the EU asylum summit. But the party has probably given up its old position – and there are doubts about Baerbock's hopes. An explosive hypothesis is already circulating: Is the party exhausting itself so much in the climate and heating dispute that it is clearing the field on the old heartfelt issue of asylum. The EU interior ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Thursday to discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which has been controversial for years.



The Greens want to "fight hard" at the EU asylum summit. But the party has probably given up its old position – and there are doubts about Baerbock's hopes.

Berlin/Frankfurt - The Greens are on the defensive in the traffic light coalition - not least because of the ongoing fuss over the heating plans. But the core of the party's brand is not limited to climate policy: the Greens have also made clear demands for years on the subject of social issues - in the form of basic child benefits - and asylum. Especially when it comes to asylum, they now seem to be quietly giving in.

And this comes at a crucial time: the EU is once again struggling to reach a compromise on asylum. Procedures in camps at the EU's external borders are being discussed. Since the recent "Refugee Summit", Germany has also been considering expanding the list of so-called "safe countries of origin". In both cases, the Greens have objections - but they are more of a cosmetic nature. An explosive hypothesis is already circulating: Is the party exhausting itself so much in the climate and heating dispute that it is clearing the field on the old heartfelt issue of asylum?

Baerbock wants to negotiate asylum "hard" – but the party program calls for much more

On Monday, the Green figureheads Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock brought themselves into position. "Hard" negotiations will take place in the EU consultations from Thursday (8 June), Baerbock told the Funke newspapers. Their declared goal: no one should be stuck in procedures at the border for more than "a few weeks", families with children should be completely exempted from the regulation and the right to asylum should not be "undermined in essence".

The latter in particular is a very substantial project - especially in view of pressure from EU countries such as Poland and Hungary and the asylum dispute in Germany. But the current course can hardly be reconciled with previous positions of the Greens. 'The asylum procedure shall take place in the host Member State. We reject early asylum procedures at the external borders," the taz, which is often close to the Greens, soberly quoted from the party program at the weekend. The Greens had also always sharply criticized the comparable Seehofer plan for "anchor centers", which is still located in Germany.

Greens leave their asylum fortresses - state politician already threatens with veto

Last but not least, the asylum decision at the EU's external borders would be a turning point. There is a headwind from the Green ranks below the traffic light coalition: "If the EU is no longer allowed to be entered and after 30 centimeters an asylum procedure is opened that is not feasible in such a short time, then we will experience many more camps like Moria," warned Schleswig-Holstein's Minister of Social Affairs Aminata Touré in the Tagesspiegel at the end of May.

But Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has already declared "fair procedures at the EU's external borders" to be the official government course. And Baerbock explicitly did not contradict this at the weekend. "Border procedures are highly problematic because they interfere with civil liberties," she admitted. However, the EU Commission's proposal is the only realistic chance of achieving an "orderly and humane distribution procedure" in an EU of 27 very different states in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the organization Pro Asyl is already warning that refugee protection could be "undermined" - precisely because legal protection would probably be severely restricted in "border proceedings".

The EU asylum dispute - next highlight on Thursday

The EU interior ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Thursday to discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which has been controversial for years. Among other things, it is about the question of whether there should be preliminary examinations of asylum applications at the EU's external borders. The German government wants to ensure that minors under the age of 18 and families with children do not have to go through these procedures. According to the Tagesspiegel, the EU Commission's original proposal already provides for children under the age of 12 to be exempted from the border procedure. However, FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr had also spoken out against such exceptions.

Pure horror spoke from a tweet by the Greens' state working group on migration and flight from Berlin: "Do Robert and Annalena actually blush when they claim that closed camps for women fleeing alone, gay men or traumatized people are 'humane'?" asked the "LAG" on Monday. Left-liberal commentators are also outraged. "Aren't the real asylum fraudsters the politicians who cheat refugees out of their protection?" wrote SZ author Heribert Prantl on Saturday, referring to the asylum dispute – he warned of "detention camps at the external borders" and deportations to third countries "somewhere in Africa". An open letter from celebrities such as Herbert Grönemeyer and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf against the plans is circulating on the Internet.

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Green asylum pragmatism: hoped-for "distribution procedures" are not even in the program as an obligation

But is it possible that pure pragmatism dominates the governing Greens? There are strong doubts about Baerbock's hope for "orderly and humane distribution procedures" - which party leader Emily Büning also called for in the FR: The Swedish Council Presidency does not want to make it part of the negotiations - at least not as a mandatory component. "Let me be clear: mandatory redistribution was not, is not and will not be part of the proposal," Sweden's Migration Minister Maria Stenergard tweeted at the end of May. It relies on "obligatory solidarity" - i.e. monetary payments. But even against this variant there is resistance in the EU.

Somewhat surprisingly, Green Party leader Omid Nouripour had recently also mentioned a classification of other countries as "safe countries of origin" as conceivable. He had EU accession candidates in mind - such as Moldova. However, the situation there is currently anything but calm. This is met with goodwill at the traffic lights. Not so much for the Greens in the states: Touré has already announced a Bundesrat "no" from Schleswig-Holstein to an expansion of the list.

Habeck's heating misery too exhausting? Greens rely on "realistic chance" for asylum

Ironically, the taz has recently received no statement from Nouripour on the migration issues, according to its own statements. Behind closed doors, parts of the party are apparently betting on an EU flop: "It is hoped that the matter will get stuck in the Council of Ministers and fail due to the resistance of other states," the paper quotes elected representatives of the Greens. The conclusion of the taz: "With the struggle for Habeck's heat turnaround, the forces of the party are apparently exhausted."

Habeck himself supports the radical compromise course: The EU consultations offer a "realistic chance to come to a humane and orderly distribution mechanism in the muddled situation and to give those seeking protection who are fleeing war and torture a perspective in Europe," Habeck said. "And I think Annalena Baerbock is right: it's worth the work." The Greens continue to see themselves in the fight for the good: "Many EU member states take a restrictive line and want to make the Commission's proposal even more restrictive. That's where we oppose," said parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann. (fn

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Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-05

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