• Germany's news in English

Interior ministry criticises planned EU-wide asylum rules

DDP/DPA/The Local · 10 Jul 2010, 11:41

Published: 10 Jul 2010 11:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A spokesman for the interior ministry said it supports efforts to bring countries’ asylum laws in line with one another but views certain proposals with a critical eye.

On Thursday, Ole Schröder, parliamentary state secretary to the interior ministry and a member of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, told daily Bild that the EU asylum law would lead to longer procedures and higher costs.

“The German government will strive to ensure in Brussels that the core of our established asylum law won’t be infringed upon,” he said.

According to a spokesperson from the interior ministry on Friday, Germany saw a significant increase in asylum applications during the first half of 2010, totalling 15,579.

Bild reported that the commission’s recommendations would strike down a German rule that gives the government the right to turn away asylum seekers whose applications hold no apparent merit upon arrival at German airports or borders.

An EU spokesman denounced the paper’s report as “false.”

But Monika Hohlmeier of Germany, a conservative member of the European Parliament, said the plans would see “Germany’s border and airport procedure significantly restricted.”

The Commission also denied claims that asylum applicants would be guaranteed access to social security benefits enjoyed by local residents. Hohlmeier said the new rules would see “asylum applicants put on equal footing” in regards to welfare benefits.

Speaking on Friday in Brussels, a spokesman for the European Commission denied that its newest recommendations would “infringe upon the core of German asylum law” and that its guidelines would not open the door to those seeking asylum on fraudulent grounds.

The EU Commission is, however, planning to establish a right to stay for juvenile siblings, which in Germany currently applies only to spouses and children. Brussels said the proposal is in line with the United Nations and EU standards.

The Commission is also looking to limit the duration of asylum proceedings to six months.

“This corresponds to the average processing time in [EU] member states,” a spokesman said, adding that more complex cases could take up to one year.

Story continues below…

Officials from interior and justice ministries in EU member states are scheduled to discuss the commission’s recommendations at a meeting in Brussels next week. Streamlining the bloc’s asylum rules requires agreement by both member states and the European Parliament.

But conservatives in the European Parliament have announced plans to challenge the commission’s proposals.

“The asylum package as it’s proposed by the EU Commission won’t become law,” a statement by Hohlmeier and German conservative German MEP Manfred Weber read.

In response to a rising number of asylum-seekers to Germany, the government tightened its rules on political asylum in 1993, disqualifying applicants from EU countries or other “safe states.”

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:34 July 10, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, world government organizations such as the EU and UN have obviously not done well. Look at the financial crises in Greece, Spain and other EU countries. And look at how the UN has failed in Haiti. It was the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere before that earthquake struck.

Logic would suggest that there is a serious need for a new organization, one that would actually help poor and struggling countries create their own independence.

I would much rather have a prosperous nation of my own, than to be sent across the ocean to another, just to be put on welfare.
13:22 July 11, 2010 by michael4096
The eu is just a continuation of the growth in the size of administrative areas in europe that started about 1500 years ago. With each expansion, like the union between england/wales and scotland or the federation of the german speaking peoples, people have complained because they lost some treasured, ultra-important local tradition. It also always resulted in more administration and a move of decision making away from ordinary people. And, the benefits often seem nebulous.

However, though many complain at the time, I think few want to go back once it is the status quo. Can you imagine having local barons with the power of life and death over 'his' people?
05:06 July 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"I would much rather have a prosperous nation of my own..."

I would rather have a prosperous nation of my own, too. Maybe I'll buy an island and establish one.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd