November 7, 2023
German municipalities will now receive 7,500 euros per year for every asylum seeker they receive and up to 1 billion euros will be saved on reception expenses.
After a night of negotiations, the German government of Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz concluded a new asylum deal with the heads of government of the sixteen states in the night from Monday to Tuesday.
Germany, like many other Western European countries, is struggling with migration and the influx of asylum seekers. German municipalities are increasingly sounding the alarm and saying that they can no longer cope with the shelter. At the same time, the government, together with socialists, greens and liberals, wants to do everything it can to take the wind out of the sails of the radical right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The AfD is Germany’s second most popular political party, according to recent polls.
In the first nine months of this year, 230,000 people applied for asylum in Germany. That is already more than in all of 2022. In addition, more than 1 million Ukrainians have arrived since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine a year and a half ago. They do not fall under regular asylum applicants.
The new asylum policy mainly provides an additional financial injection for regional and local governments. In Germany, the reception of asylum seekers is the responsibility of the municipalities. They have to rent housing for this shelter in the increasingly tight market in Germany.
From now on, municipalities will receive 7,500 euros per year per asylum seeker received. An advance will be paid early next year to meet the most serious needs at municipalities. The measure could cost the federal government up to 3.5 billion euros.
In addition, Germany will take measures so that asylum seekers will now have to submit their application for asylum in Germany in the country of arrival in Europe. They should also wait for their application to be processed outside Germany as much as possible.
The government also structurally saves 1 billion euros per year on expenditure on asylum reception. For example, Berlin wants to double the waiting time to qualify for social services.