The German government is reportedly in talks with Kenya, Moldova, Georgia, Colombia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan about so-called migration partnerships with the aim of faster deportations of people without permission to stay in Germany.
“Georgia, Moldova, Kenya, Colombia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan can currently be revealed” as countries Germany is in serious talks with on so-called Migration and Mobility Agreements, news agency dpa reported on Tuesday (October 3) citing a spokesperson for the federal ministry of the interior.
The partnerships aim to develop a mechanism to deport people without permission to reside in the country more quickly.
According to the spokesperson, negotiations with the two Central Asian countries Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are far along — the Interior Ministry signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) in early May and last week with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, respectively.
The MoUs are an attempt to curb “irregular migration and create more legal pathways to immigrate to Germany,” the spokesperson said.
Only one of the six countries named by the Interior Ministry is among asylum seekers’ top nine countries of origin this year: Syria tops the list with more than 60,000 asylum applications lodged in 2023 (through August), followed by Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Georgia, Russia, Somalia and Eritrea.
Overall, more than 200,000 asylum claims have been filed in Germany so far this year. In all of last year, 244,000 asylum seekers applied for asylum.
Deportations: sharp rise after setbacks
The spokesperson said Georgia and Moldova are a particular priority because together they represent more than 10% of rejected asylum applications in Germany, adding that the governments in Tbilisi and Chisinau have expressed readiness for talks.
Colombia was included in the list because the number of asylum applications rose from 140 in 2018 to 1,500 in the first months of 2023 alone, the spokesperson said.
Stepping up deportations has been a key objective of Germany’s three-party coalition government since it took power in late 2021. After the policy initially suffered setbacks, with roughly two-thirds of all deportations attempts failing, the number of deportations of failed asylum seekers increased by more than a quarter in the first six months of 2023 — most of them to Georgia, North Macedonia, Albania, Moldova and Serbia,
Moreover, thousands of deported migrants have reportedly reentered Germany over the past three years.
Heated migration debate
The news about the negotiations comes on the heels of intensifying debates about Germany’s asylum policy over the past two weeks amid an increase in migrant arrivals and upcoming state elections in Hesse and Bavaria.
On September 22, opposition lawmakers called for expanding the list of so-called safe countries of origin to include Georgia, Moldova, India, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
In early September, representatives of both Germany’s governing liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the opposition CDU/CSU called for the resumption of deportations of convicted criminals to Afghanistan.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday (October 2) he was confident more agreements would soon be finalized. “There has been a lot of talk about this, I’ll say that, but we are really doing it now and have made great progress,” he said at a citizens’ meeting in Hamburg.
Migration agreement with India
So far, the German government has completed a migration agreement with India. The ‘German-Indian Migration and Mobility Agreement’, signed in December 2022, aims to “facilitate mobility for students, trainees and professionals; joint action against irregular migration and clear procedures for forced returns.”
On the EU level, the bloc has been in discussions with the Tunisian government to reach an agreement to reduce the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean towards Italy.
The deal, struck in July, has been criticized for being signed amid allegations of rights violations by the Tunisian government as well as for having had little impact so far on the actual number of arrivals in Italy. In late September, however, the European Parliament put the talks on hold because of a standoff between EU member states.
Source : Infomigrants