Refugee policy: Faeser wants to speed up asylum procedures

Status: 14/10/2022 13:43

The Federal Interior Ministry wants to speed up asylum procedures. As “Spiegel” reports, among other things, regular reviews of positive asylum decisions should be eliminated. Meanwhile, Serbia’s visa policy was criticized across the European Union.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants to speed up asylum procedures in Germany. To this end, case law should be standardized and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) should be released, he said, citing a draft law by the Interior Ministry, reports “Spiegel”.

In the first step, clarification of the fundamental question should be made possible by the Federal Administrative Court. This should contribute to a more uniform case law in the future and reduce the workload of state administrative courts. According to the report, the average length of the asylum litigation process in 2021 is more than two years.

Check only if there is a certain reason

To relieve BAMF, the home ministry plans to cancel the regular review of the protection status granted in the asylum decision after three years. In the future, it should only be examined if there are special reasons for revoking or revoking a positive asylum decision.

In addition, advice on previously voluntary state asylum procedures for those seeking protection should be provided by an independent agency. The Interior Ministry hopes applicants will be more willing to cooperate, he said.

EU Interior Minister Criticizes Serbian Visa Allocation

Today in Luxembourg, Faeser and his European Union colleagues are advising on how migration via the so-called Balkan route, which has recently increased significantly, can be restricted. Due to rising numbers, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria have recently reintroduced stationary controls on their borders. Germany continued to control the border with Austria, but not with the Czech Republic.

The Minister recently emphasized that the goal is to reduce the number of unauthorized entries. There has been major criticism at the Serbian visa policy meeting. Countries should adapt their practices to those of the EU, Faeser said. He was referring to the country’s EU membership ambitions. “They want something from the EU.” Uniform visa practice is a criterion for joining the EU.

“One of the most pressing issues on our agenda is Serbia, because Serbia has very bad visa practices,” Faeser said. This is based on which states do not recognize Kosovo. “I don’t think that’s acceptable either.” He announced that he would also raise the issue at next week’s Balkan conference in Berlin, which Serbia will attend.

Entry for Serbian citizens can be more difficult

At their meeting in Luxembourg, the ministers wanted to discuss a uniform approach. It’s about developing alternatives to illegal escape routes, says Faeser. “What we need is a European solution.”

The European Union accuses Serbia and other Western Balkan countries of undermining entry rules into the Schengen area. Luxembourg’s Interior and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said these countries have signed visa-free entry agreements with countries such as India, Tunisia and Turkey. “Of course they don’t live there, they move,” he insisted. Many people also come to the EU from Burundi East Africa.

Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson expressed “concern” about the situation. A number of member states are under “strong pressure”. Johansson did not rule out making it difficult for Serbs to enter the country as a means of pressure, but said he hoped for further cooperation. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg had previously criticized Serbia.

Nearly 20,000 irregular arrivals in September

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic recently announced changes to his visa policy at the end of the year, but did not mention any other concrete steps. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade pointed out that although nationals from India and Burundi do not need a visa for Serbia, they must present documents about booking a hotel and a paid return flight upon entry.

According to the European Union’s border protection agency Frontex, 19,160 irregular entries were registered on the western Balkan routes in September – twice as many as in the same month last year. The authorities explain the high numbers by the fact that many migrants residing in the Western Balkans make several attempts to get to the EU. Most of the migrants are from Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey.

Ambrose Fernandez

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