The federal government stops accepting migrants from Italy

The federal government stops accepting migrants from Italy

As of: September 13, 2023 4:09 p.m

Italy refuses to take back migrants who have fled to Germany. The country would be obliged to do so under the Dublin rules. The federal government is therefore suspending the voluntary admission of refugees from Italy.

The federal government has suspended the voluntary European solidarity mechanism for accepting refugees with Italy. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior confirmed a corresponding report from “Welt”.

The reason is that the Italian government refuses to take back refugees in Germany in accordance with the European Union’s Dublin rules. The ministry also referred to the “high migration pressure to Germany”.

Germany promised to take in 3,500 people

According to the voluntary European solidarity mechanism, Germany has agreed to help EU states that are particularly burdened by incoming migrants. These particularly include southern countries such as Italy.

According to the ministry spokesman, Germany is making the largest contribution in the EU and has promised to take in a total of 3,500 people. So far, Germany has taken in 1,731 people from other EU states via this mechanism, including 1,043 from Italy. In this respect, the federal government is “living up to its humanitarian responsibility”.

Ministry: Italy is coming Commitments not after

However, “for some time now” Italy has no longer accepted people from Germany who would have to be repatriated according to the Dublin rules. According to this regulation, these people were first registered in the EU in Italy, but then moved illegally to Germany. According to the spokesman, this affects more than 12,400 people, ten of whom have so far been transferred to Italy.

All EU states must fulfill their obligations, said the spokesman. As soon as the Italian government complies with the Dublin regulations again, the voluntary European solidarity mechanism can be resumed.

According to information from “Welt”, Italy has been completely blocking the return of those seeking protection for nine months. The spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior referred to the “major challenges that Germany is currently facing with regard to its reception and accommodation capacities”. He did not give a date for resuming the program.

Voluntary takeovers only a small proportion

According to the Dublin regulation, the EU state is responsible for accepting and caring for a refugee through which he or she entered the country. These are usually the EU border states such as Italy, Malta or Greece. If asylum seekers continue, the countries can send refugees back there. However, the states concerned must declare their consent for this to happen.

In June 2022, some EU states, including Germany, agreed to voluntarily accept refugees who came to Europe via the Mediterranean. Voluntary takeovers had already taken place before this in order to relieve the burden on the countries bordering the Mediterranean. However, compared to those seeking protection otherwise arriving in Germany, they only made up a very small proportion of the number of refugees.

Union criticized Migration policy the Federal Government

The Union viewed the step now taken by the ministry of Nancy Faeser (SPD) as evidence of the federal government’s failed migration policy. “By stopping the voluntary admission of migrants from Italy that she herself negotiated, Ms. Faeser ultimately has to admit her failure,” said the domestic policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Alexander Throm, to the AFP news agency.

Illegal migration to Germany is “taking on increasingly dramatic proportions,” Throm continued. “The only way to get this under control is to expand stationary border controls. Ms. Faeser must finally act.”

More than 100 Refugee boats in 24 hours on Lampedusa

The urgency of finding a solution to the problem is currently being demonstrated once again on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where more than 100 boats with refugees and migrants arrived within 24 hours. The Italian news agency Ansa reported this this morning.

The Italian Red Cross has already warned of a humanitarian crisis. “A few days ago there were more than 4,000 people and we were talking about a record, today we are talking about a record of landings,” Red Cross national director Rosario Valastro said on social media.

This is not about a competition with records, but about solving an emergency. Within one day, more than 5,000 people are said to have arrived on Lampedusa in more than 100 boats. Smugglers in North Africa are currently taking advantage of calm seas to send migrants out. More and more desperate people are making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. The island’s only reception center for migrants is designed for around 400 people. But there were more than 6,000 people there.

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