Migration: “We will agree to this commitment today” EU Interior Ministers agree on asylum reform

Dispute over EU asylum reform: Faeser sees progress in negotiations

EU interior ministers have resolved dispute over asylum law reform. Interior Minister Faeser announced Germany’s approval.

September 28, 2023| Update: September 28, 2023 – 12:15 pm | by Carsten Volkery and Moritz Koch

Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser © IMAGO/Metodi Popow

Brussels EU interior ministers agreed controversial crisis regulation in EU asylum law after Germany dropped its blockade. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced on Thursday at the public meeting in Brussels: “We will agree to this compromise today.”

Faeser emphasized that Germany has implemented some changes to the text. The basic rights of asylum seekers were preserved even in the event of a crisis. The Spanish Presidency of the Council found “good regulations”.

The crisis regulation is one of eight parts of the planned EU asylum reform. The central innovation of asylum reform is accelerated procedures at the EU’s external borders. In the future, refugees from countries with a low recognition rate will have to apply for asylum at the border and await the outcome of the process in reception camps. Rejected asylum seekers would then be transported again without having entered the EU.

The regulation provides that, in the event of a crisis, Member States can extend these accelerated procedures to all migrants if there is a sudden “mass influx”. They could also keep people in reception camps longer.

The German Greens see this as the abolition of the right to asylum. Germany therefore blocked the regulation of the crisis for a long time. However, on Wednesday, in the cabinet, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) spoke out: Germany would no longer impede the regulation of the crisis.

The Greens’ reaction was crucial

As a result, there was renewed movement in negotiations in Brussels overnight. The Spanish Presidency of the Council presented a new compromise text, which has now been approved by the majority. Only representatives from Hungary and Poland spoke at the public meeting to reiterate their fundamental rejection of all asylum reform.

The Spanish president of the EU Council, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, said after the brief discussion: “I see that the majority of people want to move forward on this issue.” A formal vote will now take place among EU ambassadors.

What is needed is a qualified majority of at least 15 states representing at least 65% of the EU population. This is considered safe after approval from Germany.

The agreement between interior ministers means that trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament can now proceed. Due to the German blockade in the Council, Parliament canceled several meetings last week. The Council and Parliament want to decide on asylum reform before the 2024 European elections.

The question is how the Greens in Berlin will react to the decision. Green Party leader Omid Nouripour told the “Welt” news channel on Wednesday evening that the current draft crisis regulation would lead states to “simply guide people to Germany”.

He described the project as “chaotic regulation” for Germany. “The crisis regulation has passages that are like a stick of dynamite behind all the regulations that are in the rest of the reform,” he said.

Faeser is optimistic about EU asylum reform

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said in Brussels that it was “honorable” that Germany was thinking about the treatment of refugees. Luxembourg, Ireland and Portugal shared this position. In negotiations with the European Parliament, the four countries would again demand that families with children not be sent to deportation camps.

At the same time, he emphasized that it was important to finally pass asylum reform. “If we don’t get this asylum pact, the chaos will continue,” Asselborn said. “We have to avoid this. This is not in the interests of refugees and is also not in the interests of the European Union.”

To the home page

© 2023 Handelsblatt GmbH
Terms and Conditions | Data protection | print out

Privacy Settings


ICO/Audio [email protected] stop “@1x