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Monday, July 15, 2024

Germany Explores Outsourcing Asylum Claims Processing

Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirms Germany's consideration of processing asylum claims outside the EU, exploring models like the UK's Rwanda deal and Italy's Albania agreement amid efforts to manage illegal immigration and address domestic challenges.

The German government is considering plans to process asylum claims outside the EU, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has confirmed. The UK’s deal with Rwanda and Italy’s agreement with Albania are among the models that have already been reviewed as part of Berlin’s plan to curb illegal immigration.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with the leaders of Germany’s federal states on Thursday, Scholz said Berlin is “carefully” studying its options. There is a “firm agreement to continue the process,” he added.

Scholz admitted earlier this week that Germany “needs immigration of workers and skilled workers,” but added that it must also find a way to “manage irregular migration successfully.” The issue has intensified in Germany in recent months following a huge surge in migrants.

Scholz has pledged to take a tougher stance on migration following several cases of violence involving immigrants this month.

The chancellor said the government will examine expert reports in the coming months to determine whether it is possible to outsource asylum procedures to third countries.

Italy’s agreement to outsource the processing of some asylum applications to Albania and a similar deal between the UK and Rwanda have reportedly already been reviewed.

Scholz cautioned, however, that these schemes are not extensive enough to tackle Germany’s challenges and that “things won’t be as easy as we’ve seen in other countries.”

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has also said the Italy-Albania scheme could not be used in Germany because a “maximum limit of 3,000 refugees has been agreed [by Albania],” describing it as “a very small number.”

Faeser was also skeptical about the efficiency of the UK’s plan to send refugees to Rwanda for processing, noting that London is still facing difficulties in getting the plan off the ground.

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According to a Bloomberg report this week, Berlin is in talks with Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, over a migration pact that could include the deportation of Afghan asylum seekers rejected from Germany to Kabul.

Uzbek authorities are examining the proposal, but want any migration deal to include bilateral rules that would facilitate the legal migration of skilled workers from Uzbekistan to Germany, the outlet said, citing sources.