February 29, 2024

Britain is at the center of the EU migration crisis

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Brexit country Great Britain is, of all places, a major player in the EU’s migration crisis. Future contracts with third countries depend on the English Channel.

BERLIN – As more people flee to Europe, municipalities in Germany are overflowing. Politicians across party lines are calling for EU migration deals with third countries to reduce irregular migration. But to achieve success in negotiations with African countries, you must first make an agreement with Great Britain, says Gerald Naas in an interview with Ippen.Media. He is a migration expert and architect of the 2016 EU-Turkey Agreement. For Knaus, an agreement with United Kingdom Important because otherwise Germany would lose credibility.

Migration: Asylum applications in Germany are rising sharply

35,000 people were hired in November 2023 alone Germany Initial application for asylum. This is a 20 percent increase compared to last year, according to current figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Knaus argues that European countries should reach a migration deal with the UK to curb the problems that arise. Refugees mostly come from Middle Eastern and African countries. The negotiations were successful EU However, there is currently no agreement with these states.

Gerald Naas is an experienced migration researcher and co-founder of the European Stability Initiative (ESI) think tank. © IMAGO/Dominik Butzmann

An agreement aims to regulate migration through conventional channels, eradicate the smuggling business and prevent many refugees from drowning. “Germany and other EU countries can immediately, this winter, demonstrate how an agreement humanely reduces irregular migration across the English Channel between the EU and Great Britain,” says Knaus. “Last year 46,000 people boarded smuggling boats. Germany and Denmark could offer London the option to immediately take back anyone who leaves the EU on January 1.

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Germany must demonstrate credibility on migration policy

For the Austrian migration expert, it means showing Africa’s future third countries that Germany is ready to take back irregular refugees from Britain. Because, the logic goes, the EU demands the same from future safe third countries.

June 9, 2023: Sfax, Tunisia.  09 June 2023. Sub-Saharan migrants trying to reach Italy are stopped
There are always tragic boat accidents in the Mediterranean where many people drown. Most of the time they board unsecured and overcrowded smuggling boats bound for Europe. © IMAGO/Hasan Mrd

Olaf Scholes Great Britain, along with Denmark and other neighboring countries, could readily offer such an opportunity. “Germany will take people back and show that it works,” says Knaus, who is currently in talks with leading European politicians. “And then engage in credible negotiations with African countries. Safe third countries must actually be safe. And they must have a vested interest in such solutions. Germany has that too.

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An EU migration deal in the future?

This step will serve as an example. “If the states agreed to this today, no one would cross the English Channel by boat in March, because it would be clear that an irregular route does not guarantee victory,” says Knaus. “In return, the UK must legally accept 20,000 refugees or asylum seekers from Germany each year. This is how you destroy the business of smugglers. The Safe Third Country policy has proven to make sense for everyone – and is far more moral than the current status quo.

The migration researcher is cautiously optimistic that a solution will be found with Great Britain in the near future. “I have spoken to many people SPD Talked to the union Greens, FDP. Many see the challenges, but something must be done. What is needed now is political leadership and courage,” he said.

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