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efms Migration Report

October 1999

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EU-summit meeting: European Asylum- and Immigration Policy

At the EU-summit-meeting in Tampere, Finland the government and state heads declare their longterm goal to be the creation of a European system of asylum policy based on the "entire and unlimited" application of the Geneva Convention of 1951. Within the coming year, the EU-Commission shall present proposals concerning a common European asylum law and a harmonized decision procedure; the conditions for the refugees" recognition and the definitions of the term "refugee" shall be approximated. The summit-meetings participants agree upon a limitation of the number of refugees admitted to the EU at 300,000 per year and the necessity of more severe measures of control at the Union"s outer borders. They also agree that better preparations for crisis followed by greater movements of refugees are necessary. They plan on working out strategies to reduce the main causes for flight: human rights" violations, poverty, and lack of education. On the other hand, the EU plans negotiations with the countries of origin in regard of deportations and readmittance. The equalization of burdens in admitting refugees demanded by the Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is rejected by Britain"s Minister of the Interior, Jack Straw. "Fortress Europe", a meeting of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles takes place simultaneously, demanding more humane European asylum- and immigration policies and warning of increasing obstacles in immigration.
dpa 15.10.99 // FAZ 15.10.99 // NN 16.10.99 // FAZ 18.10.99 // FR 18.10.99 // SZ 18.10.99 // FR 19.10.99

Conflict on the reform of the naturalization procedure

The Federal Government launches a naturalization campaign: in 25 large German cities posters, newspaper- and internetadvertisements are published. By doing so the government hopes to increase the acceptance of the naturalization law"s reform and to gain as many new citizens as possible. Meanwhile, the Bundesrat still disputes the regulations of the naturalization procedure: contrary to the conceptions of the Länder governed by the SPD and Die Grünen, CDU-/CSU-governed Länder demand that in case of naturalization an inquiry at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) shall be obligatory. Furthermore, the German Constitution shall be acknowledged; the mastery of the German language shall be either certified or proved in a dictation. In contrast, the Federal Government expects of the citizen to be able to communicate with German authorities without a translator in order to prove his capability of speaking German. Furthermore, CDU-/CSU-governed Länder intend to grant dual citizenship to persons up to the age of 23 only if expressly requested.
SZ 9.10.99 // FR 19.10.99 // NZ 21.10.99 // NZ 26.10.99 // Welt 28.10.99

Refugees from Kosovo

Four months after the end of the war in Kosovo, the Federal Ministry of the Interior repeals the descision ban on the asylum-procedure of Yugoslavian citizens: the situation were consolidated and thus in mid-terms could be judged by the Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFI). In October as well, the Supreme Administrative Court rejects a Kosovo-Albanian"s application for political asylum. Hence, Yugoslavian citizens tolerated in Germany at the time of the Kosovo-war have little chance of being recognized as politically persecuted persons. With the approval of the UN-administration in Kosovo, but in contrast to the objections raised by Die Grünen and the UNHCR, the compulsory repatriation "in a careful manner" shall now begin. For the present, the refugees having come recently to Germany shall be repatriated, while ill persons, Kosovo-Serbs, Roma, and persons in "danger of life and limb" may stay in Germany. Nevertheless, the Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily (SPD) continues to count on voluntary return, which multilateral transit-agreements shall facilitate. Up to now, 12,666 refugees have returned to Kosovo. 8,722 of these were part of the contingent of 15,000 refugees which had been accepted by Germany during the war.
SZ 1.10.99 // BAFI Press Announcement 5.10.99 // FR 6.10.99 // NZ 6.10.99 // dpa 28.10.99 // FR 29.10.99 // taz 29.10.99

Federal Goverment"s Commissioner for Foreigners advocates improved integration of foreigners

The Federal Goverment"s Commissioner for Foreigners, Marieluise Beck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) advocates an improved integration of foreigners within Germany - integration not being solely the immigrants" responsibility. Beck introduces an "agenda for integration policies" emphasizing speedy, unbureaucratic measures in the citizenship law"s realization, the preparation of a general concept to further language skills, and the reform of the "extremely complex" legal provisions concerning work permits and labor-recruitment. Persons admitted to the FRG permanently shall be permitted to the labor market with minimum delay. Persons not allowed to stay in Germany permanently shall be allowed to take up a job if no other applicants are available.
FAZ 2.10.99 // SZ 2.10.99

Aussiedler statistics

In October 1999, 12,038 persons were registered as Aussiedler (ethnic German immigrants) in Germany. In the same month of the previous year 9,584 persons were registered. Until the end of October 76,550 persons were registered in 1999.
BMI Press Announcement 5.11.99

Asylum statistics

In October 1999, 7,505 persons applied for political asylum in Germany. This signifies a decrease of 924 persons (11%) compared to the previous month. Never in October since 1987 have so few persons applied for political asylum. The number of Yugoslavian applicants for political asylum continued to fall. The rate of approval in completed cases was 2.0% (317 persons).
BMI Press Announcement 7.11.99

October 1999

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