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Green Party leader Ricarda Lang believes that Germany should not have agreed to the reform proposal

Photo: IMAGO/Florian Gaertner / IMAGO/photothek

Green Party leader Ricarda Lang has criticised the EU's decision to tighten asylum procedures. Germany should not have agreed to the proposal for reform, the politician writes on Twitter. Reform is urgently needed, but not at any price. Key points have not been achieved. "For example, there will be no fundamental exception for children in border procedures, and a mandatory distribution mechanism could not be achieved, despite progress in solidarity and distribution."

At a meeting of Community interior ministers in Luxembourg, a sufficiently large majority of Member States had previously voted in favour of comprehensive reform plans. In particular, they provide for a much harsher approach to migrants with no prospect of staying.

Lang's co-chairman Omid Nouripour has described the decision as difficult but necessary. The situation at the European borders is unbearable for those seeking protection, Nouripour wrote on Twitter. "We Greens have fought together to find a European solution that brings humanity and order together. Today's decision was difficult. Overall, we come to different assessments.«

On a positive note, Nouripour emphasized that there were "clear improvements" such as access to independent legal advice. In addition, there will be a solidarity mechanism that will bring progress in the distribution of refugees. "Overall, I come to the conclusion that today's approval is a necessary step to move forward together in Europe."

The Greens' parliamentary group chairmen Britta Haßelmann and Katharina Dröge also assessed the agreement differently. Hasselmann wrote on Twitter that the decision was "a necessary step," albeit not an easy one. Dröge wrote: "Children do not belong in such borderline procedures." Germany should therefore not have agreed.

Criticism also comes from other prominent Green politicians. The federal spokeswoman for the Green Youth, Sarah-Lee Heinrich, wrote on Twitter: "I am stunned. Isolation does not ensure that fewer people flee. It means that more people are suffering." Her co-spokesman Timon Dzienus wrote: "If I understand correctly: Nancy Faeser has just voted for the detention of innocent, traumatized refugee children. This supposed agreement is being carried out on the backs of the people. It's inhumane and I won't accept it."

"The agreement reached by the justice and interior ministers on the #Asylrecht is a disgrace for #Europa," writes Sven Kindler, budget policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group. "It's going to cause a lot of suffering. Human rights and the rule of law are to be massively restricted." He hopes that the EU Parliament will stop the reform.

And Erik Marquardt, a Green member of the European Parliament, responds with a word to a tweet by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who describes the agreement as "historic". No," writes Marquardt.

Baerbock: Compromise not easy, but necessary

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock defended the tightening of EU asylum law. "This decision was long overdue in order to prevent conditions at the EU's external borders like Moria from happening again and preventing Europe from flying apart," said a statement released during her visit to the Colombian city of Cali. "It creates a perspective to end the unspeakable suffering at the EU's external borders."

It is not an easy compromise, but a necessary one. "A "no" or an abstention from Germany on the reform would have meant more suffering, not less." Because then there would be no distribution mechanism for refugees. "If Germany had voted against the compromise today with Hungary and Poland, among others, a common European asylum policy based on solidarity would have been dead for years to come." Also in order to maintain a Europe without controls at the internal borders, "this compromise was necessary."

In recent days, there has been fierce criticism from Green party circles about a possible tightening of EU asylum law. In a letter of protest to the party leadership, more than 700 members warned against the betrayal of basic Green beliefs. They were "shocked" by the attitude of the Federal Government. The traffic light and also the Green ministers are in the process of casting "populism in the form of law".

Fierce criticism from Pro Asyl and Die Linke

The human rights organisation Pro Asyl has strongly criticised the EU compromise. This is "a frontal attack on the right of asylum," the organization writes in a statement. With the approval of Nancy Faeser, the interior ministers of the EU today decided on mandatory border procedures under detention-like conditions and massively watered-down criteria for supposedly 'safe third countries'."

For the left-wing politician Katharina König-Preuss, the compromise is "an absolute disgrace". This would make an asylum policy a reality that is "the dream of every right-wing party," she writes on Twitter. Clara Anne Bünger, a member of the Bundestag for the Left Party, criticized the words of Interior Minister Faeser, who called the compromise "historic": "To describe the detention of families with children as a 'historic success' for the protection of human rights. I'm stunned."