German Refugee

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On September 19, inside the Eyüp Sultan Camii Mosque in Ronnenberg near Hanover[1], German Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière publicly raised the issue of the increased flow of refugees seeking asylum in Germany and of the possible consequences for the resident German population.

In 2013, Germany received 130,000 refugee applications and as many as 200,000 are expected for this year[2]. Mazière fears that the population (especially right-wing extremist formations) might fail to meet the refugee influx with enthusiasm.

Whether refugees are fleeing from the Islamic State in Iraq or the Civil War in Syria, the underlying problem remains that a considerable number of them are entering Germany illegally with the aid of smugglers. Although Germany might allow their stay, Article 16A[3]  refers solely to the right to asylum given to politically persecuted individuals - no reference is made to allowing asylum to the hunger and poverty stricken, for example; however that apparently does not constitute a proper deterrent for the asylum-seekers.

Although Germany can not shut off its borders, it does make use of its right not to give asylum to more than 1,6 percent of the asylum-seekers. However, the ones included under the Geneva Convention provisions (such as the refugees from Iraq) are granted asylum without further difficulty.

Mazière's discontent also targets the EU Dublin Regulation[4] that Italy infringed by not registering refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean into the country, as it had promised to.

The solution to be proposed by Germany through its Minister of Interior in October[5] may be the establishment of actual quotas of refugees to be registered and accepted by each EU member country.

Should that be the case, applying this solution may lead to the suspension of the Dublin Regulation. At the same time, implementing such a quota implies "sharing" refugees by sending them to other EU member countries when necessary.

In the long run, striving for EU solidarity in the question of asylum-seekers and equal refugee quota may prove to bring cooperation between the EU member countries to a whole new level if, by all means, it is formulated in a manner that in no way, shape or form resembles a practice of deportation.

[1] "Sharing Burdens: Germany to Urge Shift in EU Refugee Policy" by Nicola Abé, Nikolaus Blome, Peter Müller, Conny Neumann and Maximilian Popp, September 22, 2014 available at  http://ml.spiegel.de/article.do?id=993076;
[2] "Sharing Burdens: Germany to Urge Shift in EU Refugee Policy" by Nicola Abé, Nikolaus Blome, Peter Müller, Conny Neumann and Maximilian Popp, September 22, 2014 available at  http://ml.spiegel.de/article.do?id=993076;
[3] German Constitution, http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/GG.htm#16a ;
[4] EU Dublin Regulation regarding Refugees : http://www.ecre.org/topics/areas-of-work/protection-in-europe/10-dublin-regulation.html.
[5] "Sharing Burdens: Germany to Urge Shift in EU Refugee Policy" by Nicola Abé, Nikolaus Blome, Peter Müller, Conny Neumann and Maximilian Popp, September 22, 2014  available at  http://ml.spiegel.de/article.do?id=993076.

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