Praise, but also “painful points”: This is what top German politicians say about the EU asylum reform

Asylum regulations in the EU are being significantly tightened.

Praise, but also “painful points”: This is what top German politicians say about the EU asylum reform

Asylum regulations in the EU are being significantly tightened. After years of discussions, representatives of the EU states and the European Parliament finally agreed on the relevant legal texts, as the institutions announced on Wednesday. The aim is to curb irregular migration.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz expects the reform to bring relief for Germany. “In this way, we limit irregular migration and relieve the burden on the states that are particularly hard hit - including Germany,” wrote the SPD politician on Wednesday on the online platform X after the breakthrough achieved in the negotiations on asylum reform that morning. The agreement is a “very important decision”.

Despite criticism from refugee rights organizations, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is also very satisfied with the agreement. “I fought hard all night for approval in the council and parliament and had many conversations,” said the SPD politician, according to a statement from her ministry. She emphasized: "If we want to preserve the Europe of open borders internally, we must protect the external borders and achieve functioning procedures."

The federal government wants an end to the deaths in the Mediterranean as well as the lawless and chaotic conditions at the external borders of the European Union. Both can only be achieved with practical European solutions. Therefore, “strict controls and registration” must be carried out at the EU’s external borders in the future. Anyone who has little prospect of protection in the EU will have to go through a constitutional asylum procedure at the external borders and, if rejected, have to return from there.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described the agreement as “urgently necessary and long overdue”. Given the freedom of movement in Europe, everyone needs reliable rules in this area, the Green politician said in Berlin on Wednesday. At the same time, she admitted that Germany could not get through with all concerns.

For the first time, the EU states would be obliged to show solidarity; in the future there should be a European distribution of migrants, emphasized Baerbock. "Because the inhumane conditions at the EU's external border must not remain the face that Europe shows to the world."

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) wrote on X: "With the overdue agreement on the EU

The Green Party leader Omid Nouripour draws a mixed conclusion about the agreement to reform the European asylum system. Like Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Nouripour assessed the start of distributing migrants in Europe as positive. An improvement was achieved here in the negotiations, he told the German Press Agency in Berlin on Wednesday.

“The results contain painful points in many places,” admitted Nouripour. “For example, we continue to view the obligation of the external border states to carry out procedures at the borders critically.” The Greens would have liked the Council, as the representative of the EU states, to respond more to the position of the European Parliament. This was made more difficult, among other things, by the different, mostly very restrictive positions of the other EU states.

"As the Greens, we have fought for concrete solutions that bring together humanity and order, that do justice to our humanitarian demands and obligations as well as the major challenges in our communities and at the external borders as well as our European political responsibilities," said Nouripour. "The current situation at the European borders is unbearable. It cannot remain like this." That is why the Greens were prepared to engage in difficult negotiations about reforming the European asylum system.