Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser: An extraordinary joint effort
13 October 2022
The Federal Government wants to strengthen cooperation with German cities and municipalities, helping them to provide accommodation to large numbers of refugees.
After a high-level meeting in Berlin to discuss the current refugee situation with the national associations of local authorities and federal state representatives, Federal Interior Minister Faeser said:
“Given the currently very difficult situation, we must coordinate our help for refugees in the best possible way, especially in view of the coming winter.”
“All levels of government have done an excellent job”
With regard to public solidarity with those fleeing Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine, Ms Faeser stressed that together, the people of Germany had saved many lives. She said:
“Since the outbreak of the war, Germany has taken in and provided support to more than one million people; all levels of government have done an excellent job.” She also stated that she had thanked the municipalities and federal states at today’s meeting for their extraordinary efforts.
Financial support and more housing for refugees
According to Minister Faeser, the Federal Government is ready to support the municipalities, as they bear the brunt of this situation and are reaching the limits of their capacities.
In addition to the federal properties already provided to accommodate more than 64,000 people, the Federal Government has offered the municipalities additional housing for some 4,000 people, for example in military barracks or vacant buildings of the federal administration.
Ms Faeser made clear that the municipalities could continue to rely on the Federal Government to provide financial support, saying that a meeting had already been scheduled for November where the Federal Chancellor and the minister-presidents of the federal states would decide on further resources to cover refugee costs.
In addition, the federal, state and local governments are planning to launch a joint online platform where experts will be able to discuss improvements with respect to housing refugees. The Minister also pointed out that the participants at the high-level meeting had agreed to discuss the data available even more extensively, and that she had agreed to provide the federal states and municipalities with all available information on a monthly basis.
More asylum applications and illegal entries via the Mediterranean and the Balkan route
In recent months, the number of applications for asylum has also increased, as has the number of illegal entries into Germany. In addition to the massive influx of refugees from Ukraine, there has been a fresh increase in the number of people coming to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkan route. Ms Faeser said:
“I am concerned about this situation; we clearly have to set boundaries.”
She explained that Germany would therefore continue to carry out checks at the border with Austria. In addition, the Federal Police is intensifying random checks at the Czech border.
Ms Faeser explained that she and the European partners were in close dialogue on the matter, especially with regard to the Serbian government’s visa facilitation policy and an increase in Frontex operations.
Federal Minister Faeser had invited the national associations of local authorities and federal state representatives to her ministry in Berlin to discuss current difficulties in the admission of refugees and ways for the Federal Government to best provide support.