"Together we are shouldering the great humanitarian effort to take care of 1,062,000 refugees from Ukraine in Germany," Faeser told the RND newspapers. Eight out of ten refugees last year came from Ukraine.
Federal, state and local representatives will meet in Berlin on Thursday at the invitation of Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) for a refugee summit. The main issue here is the distribution of the financial and organizational burdens between the levels of government.
In view of current demands from the federal states and municipal umbrella organizations for more financial support from the federal government, Faeser referred to agreements that had already been made. "In 2022 alone, the federal government gave the states and municipalities financial support of 3.5 billion euros," she told RND. "For this year we have agreed another 2.75 billion euros."
The Federal Minister of the Interior expressed her confidence that the federal, state and local governments would "find pragmatic solutions" to "resolve the tense accommodation situation in many places". To this end, she also brought the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks to the table for the refugee summit.
Bavaria's Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann (CSU), recently declared federal financial aid of eight billion euros to be appropriate. That would be 1.75 billion euros more than the federal government has promised so far. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), on the other hand, said: "The possibilities of the federal government are limited." Federal states and municipalities have already received additional funds.
Before the refugee summit, Schleswig-Holstein's integration minister, Aminata Touré (Greens), called for more integration courses from the federal government in addition to more money for accommodating refugees. "I expect a summit of real solutions," she told RND. "States and municipalities now need firm financing commitments that meet the current challenges."
The refugee summit must send "a clear signal for more integration," Touré demanded. The federal government must "clearly commit to expanding its integration courses". In Schleswig-Holstein alone there is currently a shortage of almost 10,000 places, emphasized the minister. It's not about "learning Heinrich Heine German" but the basics of the German language. "Therefore, the federal government should lower the minimum requirements for teachers in integration courses," said Touré.