A Controversial Declaration on Safe Countries of Origin

The German Bundestag declares Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Georgia as “safe countries of origin”

January 23rd, 2019
Julia Bohlin, News from Berlin
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The Bundestag in Berlin has decided to change the status of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Georgia to “safe countries of origin”. Though, if the higher house Bundesrat doesn´t ratify the legislation, it can be turned down. The new rule means that it will be difficult for people from these countries to apply for asylum in Germany. This has led to a controversy between the conservatives on the one side and the greens and left on the other.

To mark a country as “safe”, means that there is no suspicion about inhuman or degrading treatment or of political persecution in that country, which consequently means that it´s safe for refugees to return to. Because of this, it will also make it easier to deport people applying for asylum. The conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer thinks positive about the new rule and says that “we can devote more time, concentration and more energy to deal with applications from people truly needing protection and to integrate them into our society.”

However, the Green and the Left Party rejects Minister Seehofer and the new rule. The greens spokeswoman Luis Amtsberg argues that they should “stop trying to portray this issue as a question of Germany´s destiny”. She bases this argument with that the number of people from these four countries that have seeken asylum and have been declined since 2016 at a rate of 85 percent, while the number of deportations has risen by a factor of ten.

Accordingly, it remains to be seen what will be decided after the voting in Bundesrat.


News from Berlin