by Simon Kent
Over-hasty policy makes for poor diplomatic
outcomes. Germany is being forced to re-learn that fundamental maxim as
it struggles to cope with a migrant invasion sparked by Chancellor
Angela Merkel’s surprise announcement last month that the country would welcome any and all refugees from Syria.
As Breitbart London reported yesterday,
Berlin has added Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro to a list of so-called
safe countries, so migrants from those states can be swiftly repatriated
to free up space for refugees from the Middle East and sub-Saharan
Now it is introducing a raft of other measures designed to say ‘no’
to economic opportunists entering the country from neighbouring East
Germany’s previous open-door policy to Syrians sparked an unintended
flood of migrants keen to take advantage of its perceived offer to
receive anyone who simply turned up on its doorstep claiming to be
The decision to tighten controls comes as the number of
people crossing the Mediterranean for Europe shows no signs of abating,
with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) saying that 515,000 arrived so far this year.
About half are escaping Syria’s civil war, which topped the agenda of
the UN General Assembly in New York this week, and where Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon is due to hold a meeting on the refugee crisis later
The Local reports
Germany has committed billions of euros to helping asylum seekers. Over
the past four days between 8,000 and 10,000 migrants from the Middle
East, Afghanistan, Africa and south-eastern Europe have arrived daily,
according to Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière.
“We want to send a clear signal to those (who are not fleeing war),
don’t come here, you have no chance, you will have to leave our
country,” Maiziere said.
On Monday German President Joachim Gauck foreshadowed the move when he said the country’s “absorption capacity is limited, even if it has not yet been decided where these limits lie.”
As part of its new tougher policy, Berlin is reducing payouts to
migrants and seeking to distribute benefits in kind rather than in cash
to refugees. The DW news service reports that inside Germany regional governments are pushing Angela Merkel hard to refine a plan that took everyone by surprise.
The Council for Migration, an association of more than 100 migration
experts based in Germany, sharply criticized the government’s open door
policy on Tuesday and highlighted the social divides opening up in the
Werner Schiffauer, a cultural and social anthropologist and chairman
of the council, said they continue a policy trend based on deterrence
and separation. He said the migration crisis should be seen as both a
challenge and an opportunity to revise fundamentally the foundation of
Europe’s asylum policies.
Instead, Schiffauer argued, the proposed policies are continuing the
restrictive path they’ve been on for recent years. He railed against the
concept of “safe countries” of origin, arguing they will do little to
deter illegal migration.
As reported by DW, Schiffauer also critized lengthening the stay of
asylum seekers in refugee processing centres by several months,
describing them as noisy and chaotic, adding “families will go crazy in
The Council for Migration has released a 10-point program for
revamping the continent’s approach to migration, including suspending
the Dublin system, waiving cases for refugees from war-zone countries
like Syria and Iraq, and opening up more legal avenues to immigrate to
Those with a good chance of receiving asylum would also receive
integration classes, according to the new measures which the German
parliament will debate from Thursday before, pending approval, they
enter into force on November 1.