Germany to examine asylum processing in third countries

Germany to examine asylum processing in third countries
Germany to examine asylum processing in third countries

The German government will continue to study asylum procedures in other countries, hoping to find a model for its own use. Italy’s agreement with Albania and the UK’s with Rwanda were among the models already reviewed.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has assured German state leaders that an examination of asylum procedures in third countries will continue.

There is a “firm agreement to continue the process,” Scholz said Thursday evening after a meeting with state premiers in Berlin.

Scholz added that he intends to present its proposals at the federal and 16 state government leaders’ next meeting in December. 

What procedures are being reviewed?

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the states had called for the review of “concrete models” for asylum processing in third countries, so the Interior Ministry had consulted experts about reviewing asylum claims in third countries.

This was mainly based on the UK’s plans for asylum procedures in Rwanda  and Italy’s agreement for asylum procedures in Albania. The majority of experts, however, were skeptical about the transferability to Germany, pointing to the high legal and practical hurdles.

Scholz did not want to speculate on which model could be used for Germany. It will now be “carefully” examined further, he said.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said third-country processing of asylum claims could be a “building block” in German migration policy, but she added it would not fundamentally change the migration situation in Germany or impact the number of people seeing asylum in the country.

It is also unclear if there is a country prepared to accept asylum-seekers from Germany.

What did premiers say?

Lower Saxony Premier Stephan Weil of Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats remained skeptical of outsourcing the processing of requests for asylum. The expert hearing had raised “a whole series of questions,” he said. He advised caution to all those who assume that such an investigation must lead to a positive result.

Hesse Premier Boris Rhein, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, on the other hand, was convinced that the federal and state governments “will not stop at expert opinions” but will now present “models and concrete proposals for implementation.”

Rhein spoke of a “milestone” on the way to determining a practicable mode for Germany.

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