Jens Spahn, vice parliamentary leader of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has called for all immigrants who enter the European Union in breach of regulations to be deported to third countries.
Spahn suggested sending such illegal migrants to Rwanda, Ghana, or Eastern European countries not in the EU such as Georgia and Moldova.
Talking in Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Spahn said: “We want to bring every migrant who reaches the EU irregularly to a safe third country.”
He said he felt there should be contractual agreements alongside a suitable asylum procedure to ensure they are not put at risk.
“People fleeing persecution, displacement and war need a safe haven. That’s what we offer. But it doesn’t have to be in the EU,” he said.
“We have to get rid of the message that all those who somehow reach the EU can stay almost 100 per cent and, if in doubt, receive social benefits here.
“Because we can’t keep it up.”
Spahn said that if his party returns to government and realises such a concept, “it will be able to win a majority”.
According to him, the move would stop migrants paying human-traffickers and smugglers to reach the EU and would end the perilous trips many undertake to cross the Mediterranean, costing thousands of lives a year.
Germany would then also be more capable of taking in those who most required its specific protection, making the policy more humane.
“If we do this consistently for four, six, eight weeks, then the numbers will drop dramatically,” he claimed.
“Many will not even set off if it is clear that it will lead to a safe third country outside the EU within 48 hours.”
Spahn said if it was ensured that persecuted people had a safe shelter, were well cared for and could live without fear, the goal of the Refugee Convention would be fulfilled.
He added that was possible in third countries and did not need to take place within the EU.
The Christian Democrat claimed that solving the current crisis would reduce German citizens’ concerns and highlighted what he said were migration-related problems within the daycare and education sectors, the housing market and public transportation. He said such issues had spurred the recent growth of the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party.
Plans to operate migrant policies with safe countries are increasingly being pushed across Europe, with the UK working to try to finalise a deal with Rwanda, and Denmark and Austria following similar agendas.
Italy first tried the approach with Tunisia and now is working with Albania.
The planned move has been applauded by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who said: “The agreement between Italy and Albania is an example of thinking outside the box, based on a fair sharing of responsibilities with third countries, in line with the obligations under international and EU law.”
German politician Jens Spahn, of the Christian Democrat Party, has given a controversial interview calling for harsh measures against illegal migration. https://t.co/W0DDAn99K2
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 25, 2023