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efms Migration Report

July 2005

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EU: Closer cooperation of G-5 in fighting illegal immigration

On 5 July 2005, the Interior Ministers of the EU states Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain and Italy agreed at their conference in Evian (France) to jointly organise expulsions. According to the French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, it is planned to bring together illegal immigrants in the five countries and to organise joint flights to return them to their countries of origin. "Only those having documents will be admitted to our countries. The others break our laws and will be returned", he said. A "quick, efficient and educational" form of action was said to be planned. In addition, it was agreed to jointly introduce biometric data such as finger prints, in order to make identity cards forgery-proof and to establish a common border police. Three weeks later, on 28 July 2005, France and Great Britain jointly expelled 40 Afghan citizens who had entered the two countries illegally from Paris to their homeland. Sarkozy announced further flights to be organised in cooperation with Spain and Germany.
FTD online 04.07.05 // tagesschau online 05.07.05 // SZ 06.07.05 // International Harald Tribune 06.07.05 // taz online 07.07.05 // FR 28.07.05

Terrorist attacks: discussion on appropriate countermeasures in Germany

Following the attacks of London on 7 July 2005 and Sharm-el-Sheik on 19 July 2005, a debate on the need of further security measures to be taken flared up among the political parties in Germany. Even though the Government and the opposition parties agree that currently there are no indicators pointing to increased security risks in Germany, the standpoints of the political parties on the need of political reactions in reply to the attacks are in parts highly divergent. Thus, the call of the opposition Union parties for a speeded-up introduction of further anti-terrorist-laws, for a joint anti-terrorist data base available to all security services and for a comprehensive video surveillance like in England was refused by SPD, the Green party and FDP. In contrast, Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD) called for more competences for the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA). In some communities the security precautions were intensified. In Munich, for example, the police have increased their controls of public transport passengers coming "from so-called states of concern" who match the criteria (male, young and of foreign appearance) established for "potential attackers". Meanwhile, the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Nadeem Elyas, has asked his brothers in faith to inform the authorities about radical tendencies they come to know in Mosques and added that the willingness to cooperate with the authorities had experienced an increase in recent years.
BZ 08.07.05 // SZ 09.07.05 // Das Parlament 11.07.05 // Die Welt 13.07.05 // BZ 14.07.05 // NN 15.07.05 // Welt am Sonntag 17.07.05 // Spiegel (online) 25.07.05 // BZ 26.05.05 // NZ 26.07.05 // Rheinische Post online 26.07.05 // SZ 28.07.05

Investigation committee on visa affair takes evidence of Schily as testimony

On 15 July 2005, Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD) sharply criticised the Federal Foreign Office (AA) before the Investigation committee and admitted at the same time failures of his own ministry. "When looking back, I regret that the Federal Foreign Office did not take note of the warnings issued by my ministry about misleading contents of the Volmer decree", he said and added that in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, failures had happened at the "lowest working level" only.
Die Welt 16.07.05

Visa controls for Chinese nationals

Following the experience made in the Ukraine with people obtaining surreptitiously visas for Germany, the Federal Foreign Office is willing to encounter similar problems in China by introducing stricter controls. Since September 2004, Chinese nationals travelling to the EU can obtain more easily a visa from their travel agent by taking advantage of the ADS procedure (ADS = approved destination status). Only a few months after introduction, there were reports on the system"s susceptibility to fraud. As a consequence, representatives of the EU states revoked the admission of some travel agencies accredited for the procedure on a temporary or permanent basis. Since February 2005, the documents are being checked in addition by an expert of the Federal police stationed in Beijing. Further control mechanisms were introduced at the beginning of July. Now, one out of three visa applicants must show up personally in an embassy or a consulate before he or she is issued the travel documents. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office informs the Federal police about the names of the Chinese nationals entering the country - the latter is then in charge of controlling if the visitors actually leave the country after their stay.
Die Welt 15.07.05 // Der Spiegel 18.07.05

Bavaria: Deferment of migrant children with language problems

On 12 July 2005, the Bavarian government decided to introduce a language test to be passed by foreign children 18 months prior to their school registration. In case of insufficient "language level test results", the children concerned are to attend a "preliminary course" during their last year in kindergarten from September to July, which comprises four German language lessons per week (160 lessons in total). The language courses of 40 hours to be attended between school registration and the beginning of the school year, which had been adopted by the Council of Ministers in autumn 2004 already, are thus extended. The "extended compulsory school attendance", according to which children are obliged to attend these courses even though this might cause starting school to be delayed by one year, is scheduled to be applied from the school year 2006/2007. The political parties of SPD and Greens in Bavaria have expressed their objection to the deferment of children of school age and said that the language skills of migrant children should rather be supported individually already at day-care centres and later at school. The president of the Bavarian Teachers" Association (BLLV), Albin Dannhäuser, criticised that 160 hours of German language lessons would not be sufficient to make the children comprehend the contents of the classes.
SZ 13.07.05 // BZ 13.07.05 // SZ 14.07.05 // Die Welt 27.07.05

Expert associations demand programmes for foreign students

In a joint declaration, the German Physical Society, the German Society of Chemists, the Society of German Natural Scientists and Doctors and the Association of German bio-scientific and bio-medical societies have criticised the "desperate" financial situation of many foreign students studying at German universities, the lack of scholarships hardly offered in the students" homelands and the lack of funds provided by German institutions. If the status of the German colleges and universities was to be maintained and further improved, there would be the need to introduce a "thorough and strictly performance-oriented scholarship system." According to the German Student Administration, about 246,000 foreign students are currently living in Germany, with 40 per cent of them facing problems with the funding of their studies.
FR 05.07.05

Bavaria: Expulsion of hate preachers

With regard to the expulsion of the hate preacher Mohamed E., who was Imam of the Islamic Centre of Nuremberg until recently, Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein (CSU) said that this expulsion would show that Bavaria takes rigorous action against Islamist extremists and swiftly brings their stays in Germany to an end. As member of the extremist Muslim brotherhood, the 51-year old Egyptian national, who was repatriated to his homeland from Munich on 25 July 2005, is supposed to have called for a holy war (Jihad) against unbelievers. According to Beckstein, this explusion marked the 14th stay brought to an end, which was coordinated by the joint state working group called "BIRGiT" (the translated German abbreviation stands for "speeded-up identification and repatriation of potential attackers from the fields of Islamist terrorism and extremism") since November 2004. So far, another 20 expulsion orders have been issued to oblige Islamist extremists and hate preachers to leave Germany; a further 19 orders are currently under preparation.
NZ 19.07.05 // Press release of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior No. 329/05 26.07.05 // SZ 27.07.05

Deportation in Bavaria criticised

The highly disputed deportation to Slovenia of a family of six persons from Kosovo, belonging to the Ashkali minority, had been effected on 1 July 2005 at the second attempt following the failure of the first attempt due to the refusal of the pilot to transport them. According to the local administration of the district of Central Franconia, the family can further pursue its asylum application from the EU member state of Slovenia. Before, the Refugee Council and church representatives had tried in vain to prevent the expulsion by filing a rush order with the petition committee of the Bavarian parliament which was refused, however. According to the Refugee Council, the women is suffering from a posttraumatic stress disorder and has therefore undertaken two suicide attempts already. The expulsion proceeding, during which the woman was broken one arm, was considered by the Council as "inhuman" Interior Minister Beckstein would have to prevent such "acts of excess ruthlessness" and needed to show consideration for illnesses and children.
SZ 01.07.05 // NN 02.07.05 // SZ 04.07.05 // SZ 05.07.05 // NZ 05.07.05 // SZ 27.07.05

European Court of Justice strengthens residency rights of Turkish workers

On 7 July 2005, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in two judgements of general principle that Turkish citizens who have acquired a residence right on the grounds of the Association Agreement of 1963 between the European Economic Community (EEC) and Turkey may not be expelled after having committed an offence resulting in a prison sentence. The expulsion order of the state of Baden-Württemberg and an expulsion order issued by the Austrian authorities are hence unlawful and need to be revoked (Ref. C.-373/03 and Ref.C.-383/03). The two men in question had been in employment during many years before committing offences. The judgement of the ECJ follows its precedent decisions constituting a de facto equal treatment of Turkish workers and employees from EU member states.
FR 08.07.05 // Communication of the ECJ 07.07.05

European Court of Justice: Access to Austrian universities violates EU law

According to a judgement of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 7 July 2005, Austrian university are no longer allowed to demand of applicants form other EU countries the proof of having a university place in their homelands as a prerequisite for university registration in Austria. The provision applied so far, would discriminate foreign against Austrian students and causes "a direct discrimination on the grounds of citizenship" (Ref. C-147/03). Thereby, the judges held that the suit of the EU Commission was founded, which welcomed the judgement.
Press release of the ECJ no. 64/05 07.07.05 // BZ 08.07.05

Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) finds void national provisions on European Arrest Warrant

On 18 July 2005, the second senate of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) declared void the Act on the European Arrest Warrant because it infringes the provisions of the German Basic Law and the guaranty of recourse to a court. It declared that in the case of criminal offences with "a significant domestic relevance", in principle no extradition would be permissible. The German-Syrian national Mamoun Darkazanli, whose extradition was requested by Spain for suspicion of supporting the terrorist network of Al-Qaeda, was released following his successful appeal. According to the judgement, the right of recourse to a court must in principle not be excluded in case authorities have authorised an extradition. Moreover, it could not be accepted that the requested state would "be asked" to just provide documents important for the extradition - this would rather be a "must" (Ref.: 2 BvR 2236/04). Now, the EU Commission has asked Germany to pass as soon as possible a new Act in order to implement on national level the framework decision of June 2002.
BVerfG Press release no. 64/2005 18.07.05 // NZ 19.07.05 // SZ 19.07.05 // SZ 20.07.05

Federal Court of Justice (BGH): Statements similar to national socialist slogan are not punishable

According to a judgement of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the use of the slogan "glory and honour to the Waffen-SS", often heard in right-wing circles, is not punishable. In its reasons for the judgement (Ref.: 3 StR 60/05), the court said the slogan would be a fantasy construction that could not be confused with the originally used slogans of national socialist organisations. Even though the Senate"s presiding judge, Klaus Tolksdorf, said that "the outcome may seem to be unfortunate", he added that "discontentment and the comprehensible desire of considering it punishable, however, could not lead to another interpretation of the law". With this judgement, the Senate acquitted three men belonging to the Karlsruhe-based group called "Karlsruher Kameradschaft" (comradeship of Karlsruhe) active since 1993, who had been convicted to suspended sentences and fines by the Regional Court of Karlsruhe for the use of signs of unconstitutional organisations.
Press release of the German Federal Court of Justice no.111/2005 28.07.05 // Die Welt 29.07.05

Asylum statistics

In July 2005, a total of 2,150 persons have submitted an application for political asylum in Germany. Compared to June, the number of asylum seekers has thus decreased by 6.0 per cent (-137 persons). Compared to July 2004, respective figures have fallen by 26 per cent (-757 persons). The main countries of origin in July were Serbia and Montenegro (443), Turkey (228) and Iraq (148) followed by the Russian Federation (102) and Vietnam (102). In July 2005, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has reviewed the applications of 3.884 asylum seekers, 34 (0.9 per cent) of whom have been recognised as entitled to political asylum. A further 166 persons (4.3 per cent) have been granted protection against deportation according to §60, paragraph 1, Residence Law. The applications of 2,331 persons (60.0 per cent) have been rejected. The cases of another 1.353 persons (34.8 per cent) have been closed for other reasons, for example because asylum seekers have withdrawn their applications.
Press release BMI 11.08.05

July 2005

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