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The motion of the Green Youth has failed: Vote at the Federal Delegates' Conference of the Bündnis90/Grünen party

Photo: IMAGO/dts News Agency

After a highly emotional debate, the Greens backed the course of the party leadership in asylum policy at their party conference. A motion by the Green Youth, according to which Green members of the government would no longer be allowed to support tightening of asylum laws, failed. Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck had warned against a "vote of no confidence" in the debate. The truth is that "this motion calls for leaving the government."

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at the end of the more than two-hour debate: "We govern because we bear responsibility." If the Green Youth's motion is accepted, "we will not be able to negotiate", neither at EU level, nor in the Conference of Minister-Presidents, nor in the Federal Cabinet.

Motion of the Green Executive Board adopted

In the end, the party congress passed the motion of the Greens' executive committee, which states: "Control, order and repatriation are part of the reality of an immigration country like Germany." It also warns that politicians will lose the acceptance of citizens if they do not fulfil their responsibilities. The vote on a motion to change the title from "Humanity and Order" to "Humanity and the Rule of Law" had been very close.

In order to prevent a scandal, however, the party executive had agreed to make some changes to the text of its resolution. For example, the sentence was deleted: "In addition, where capacities are exhausted, the numbers must also fall through measures based on the rule of law and humane dignity."

The resolution refers to the agreement between the federal and state governments to tighten asylum law and provide additional funding for municipalities: "This agreement provides a basis for supporting the municipalities in coping with their major task," even if "we criticize points such as the planned extension of the basic benefits of the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act or the examination of asylum procedures in transit and third countries."

"Those fleeing war and persecution have a right to protection"

"We know that control, order and repatriation are part of the reality of an immigration country like Germany," it continues. But it is also necessary to have "legal and safe ways to reach us, beyond an inhumane fortress of Europe on the one hand and uncontrolled borders on the other." The Greens are explicitly committed to the fundamental right to asylum and international obligations such as the Geneva Refugee Convention: "Those fleeing war and persecution have a right to protection."

The Greens reject an upper limit for the admission of refugees. This is "neither feasible, nor legal, nor humane". Instead, municipalities are to be better supported. The foundation stone for this had been laid with the agreement between the federal and state governments. In addition, the Greens want to "promote integration and create prospects for refugees so that they can become part of our society" and "those seeking protection can take up work as quickly as possible".

The Greens are also pushing for asylum procedures to be accelerated. "Not everyone who comes to Germany can stay," they also admit to deportations. However, these must be "carried out in accordance with the rule of law". Support is also given to the struggle for a common European asylum policy.

However, it also states: "Sea rescue is a legal and humanitarian obligation that we support with deep conviction." The Greens are also pushing for respect for human rights at the EU's external borders.