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EM Germany Telegram: refugee politics

What is Germany’s largest network for Europe’s position on refugee policy? – EM Germany’s telegram explains EM Germany policy, including some of its member organisations’ viewpoints. The common stance adopted by EM Germany’s 247 members is absolutely clear: acting together: European refugee, asylum and migration policy.

+++Enough with helplessness!+++

EM Germany President Dr. Rainer Wend demands this, as well as a joint European effort, in his euro-political statement, because the status quo is shameful: “the sheer distress and need of those who arrive is met with a strange helplessness from the world of politics.”

+++A litmus test for the EU+++

– that is what the wave of refugees represents, according to Dr. Karin Böttger from the Institute for European Politics (IEP). (read more) Since June this year, she is a member of EM Germany’s board and, like her fellow board member Frank Burgdörfer (Citizens of Europe), she is convinced that a functioning asylum and migration policy in Europe will only be achieved through solidarity and cooperation. Burgdörfer formulates it more precisely: “one solves problems by solving them – not by passing the buck to neighbours.” (read more)

+++Less thinking in numbers+++

is what Linn Selle, representative for the Young European Federalists Germany (JEF) on EM Germany‘s board, advises the Federal government. “The EU can only continue to exist as a community of shared values, if a united way of dealing with refugees is found.“ (read more)

+++Integrate refugees into the job market quickly+++

Employers and unions in a rare show of unity: German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB) board member Körzell (full press release here) and DanielSenf from Wirtschaftsjunioren, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the German Public Servants Association and Tariff Union (dbb), are campaigning to emphasise the positive sides of immigration. Head of the Confederation of German Employers‘ Associations (BDA) Kramer names it “our vested interest” and Federation of German Industry (BDI) chief Ulrich Grillo makes clear: “we have long been a country of immigration.”

+++No one voluntarily flees his home country+++

For the German Federal Youth Council (DBJR) one thing is certain: “as youth associations we demand unconditional solidarity with refugees, especially children and young people, who come to Europe and Germany. No one voluntarily flees his or her home country. Stories of flight are always stories of war and violence, discrimination, persecution or repression. For that reason: refugees welcome!” (to news story)

+++Duty of country and states+++

Overstretched communities and authorities: German Public Servants Association and Tariff Union’s (dbb) Federal Chairman, Klaus Dauderstädt, is fighting their corner. He demands more support from politics, more money and more staff. (full statement here)
The nonpartisan Union of European Federalists Germany (EUD) also sees it as the federal government’s turn to finally negotiate common rules for asylum processes and for immigration to Europe with its 27 EU partners. (read more here)

+++A key challenge+++

The federal government seems to understand, bit by bit, the task at hand – at least, party executives from the big coalition partners Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) passed comprehensive papers on Monday. The key message: it is a huge challenge, but is can be overcome. Press releases: SPD, CDU

+++Children are the future – also refugee children+++

Quick and successful integration of children in education is an important topic for Alfons Scholten from the European Association for Education and Science (EBB-AEDE). He makes some concrete suggestions here.

+++Expediting the asylum procedure+++

and European solutions, is what Achim Dercks, Deputy Managing Director of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), demands: “if we quickly make it clear, who can stay, we will not give the affected countries any false incentives.” (full statement here)

+++Europe must not become a fortress+++

says Thiemo Fojkar, from Internationaler Bund (IB). New arrivals must have prospects, not border maps.

+++A chance to rediscover the European idea+++

is how Miriam Schrezenmaier from Refugee Law Clinic views the crisis: only solidarity and cooperation, without appealing to sovereign interests, would guarantee a humane and prudent handling of the refugee question. (to news story)

+++Safe routes and respect for human dignity+++

The German Women Lawyers Association (DJB) brings this to the fore anddemands that the Dublin Regulation is suspended. Other EU member states should follow Germany’s example here. (read full statement)

+++The situation cannot be brought under control by being kind+++

Geo Müller, Vice-President of the European Association for Engravers and Flexographers (AEGRAFLEX), criticises the selfishness of the majority of EU states. “If we are honest, the EU has totally failed here”. His proposal: to threaten reluctant states with expulsion from the EU – which would almost certainly be an effective measure. (to news story)

+++Abolish the Dublin Regulation+++

Germany’s Protestant charity, Diakonie, also supports this action, given the catastrophic situation at the EU’s external borders. President Ulrich Liliecalls Germany’s move, to suspend the regulation for Syrian refugees, an “act of humanity”. (read more here)

+++We are just fighting symptoms+++

This is very clear to the soldiers deployed in the Mediterranean. For theGerman Armed Forces Association (DBwV) it becomes evident: “if Europe cannot find a sustainable solution for the catastrophic situation in large parts of North Africa, the rescue mission threatens to become never-ending.“ (to news story)


More on EM Germany members’ common stance in their political demand “acting together: European refugee, asylum and migration policy”. Ongoing news on refugee policy from EM Germany’s network can be found here

+++Events concerning refugee policy+++

04.09. ECFR: Black Coffee Morning: Hungary’s border fence – Europe’s external borders | 09.09. President of the European Commission Juncker will focus on migration in his State of the Union-Speech | 14.09. Special Justice and Home Affairs Council on refugees (EBD De-Briefing in preparation) | 15.09. Schwarzkopf-Stiftung: “Asylum in Berlin – help without borders?“ | 23.09. IEP-midday discussion with Secreatary of State Emily Haber: “European refugee policy?“ | 12.10. AdB: Workshop “Exodus, Asylum and Migration as subject of political education“

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