So far, it has always been the municipalities that have given the federal government a clean slate when it comes to migration policy, even if nobody in the capital wanted to hear it.
That was the case in the early 1990s and also two decades later, when a meeting with the chancellor's district administrators showed that things couldn't go on like this.
The federal government should therefore be alarmed if two leading municipal organizations are now of the opinion that the situation has worsened as dramatically as it did in 2015 in view of the sharp increase in the number of refugees from Ukraine and a sudden increase in other types of migration. They see the reason for this in Berlin.
The admission of the Ukraine refugees has been going on almost silently for months, also thanks to private initiatives.
However, numerous federal states have now suspended initial reception because only emergency shelters can help.
Tugs on the Balkan route
If the number continues to rise above the million mark, it will inevitably be necessary to intervene again at European level.
This also seems appropriate for the second part of the new wave of migration.
The smugglers on the Balkan route are active again and apparently are not encountering the resistance in Greece, Serbia and Turkey that the EU expects from these states.
That leads to asylum-seeker numbers that, at the end of the year, mean that the coalition is no longer just struggling with a pandemic, a war and an energy crisis, but also with a new refugee crisis.
"Pull factors" to Germany
Neither the EU nor Germany are well prepared for a new refugee crisis.
It is still unclear in the EU how an asylum consensus is to be reached that will take the pressure of migration away from Germany.
The traffic light coalition, on the other hand, makes no attempt to reconcile humanitarian demands with immigration, which Germany urgently needs due to a shortage of skilled workers.
The municipalities remind us of this when they criticize useless "pull factors" that are created instead - material incentives that lead to Ukraine refugees only choosing Germany as a destination because they are better cared for here than in other EU countries.
It is to be feared that the municipalities in the coalition will still fall on deaf ears.