May 23. 2024. 8:36

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EU migration reform divides German Greens ahead of campaign launch


The left faction of the pro-migration German Green party vented its frustration about the EU migration reform on Thursday, as militants previously failed to stop the party‘s leading figures from embracing it.

The reform, passed by the EU Parliament on Wednesday, was agreed on after tedious negotiations by EU governments, including Germany, where the Greens are part of the ruling coalition.

The reform significantly tightens rules for asylum applicants, some of whom are supposed to be held at the border for extended periods while their claims are assessed.

Germany’s Green foreign minister Annalena Baerbock highlighted the “milestone” that EU countries will start sharing the burden of irregular migration more evenly, as some arrivals are due to be redistributed among member states.

Meanwhile, left-leaning party members emphasised their disappointment on Thursday, claiming that the restrictive character and signalling of the reform outweighed its effectiveness.

Schäfer was one of several Green lawmakers on the party‘s left who vented their frustration after the vote, which she said “was a wasted opportunity.”

German Greens in the European Parliament also voted against significant parts of the reform alongside their fellow group members. The group’s German leader, Terry Reintke, who is also the party’s lead candidate for June’s EU elections, pointed to the detention of families and weakened refugee rights.

The diverging assessments reflect the party’s long-standing unease with the reform, which divided opinions from the start.

While Baerbock initially admitted that tighter restrictions were “the bitter part of the compromise”, the foreign minister, as well as most of her minister colleagues and the leadership, have reluctantly embraced it as a much-needed EU-level regulation.

Meanwhile, the party’s left urged its leaders to withhold approval from the German and EU governments.

A motion from the party’s youth wing that would have obliged them to do so was rejected at November’s party conference by the delegates, however, with the pragmatists retaining the upper hand.

The Greens’ pragmatic direction after two years in government is also reflected by the sound of the upcoming campaign, which the Greens are expected to launch on Monday in Berlin.

The Greens’ national manifesto emphasises stability, highlighting “prosperity” and “security”. At the European Green Party congress in February, the German delegation also raised eyebrows when it pushed to moderate climate goals in the pan-European manifesto.

According to national polls, the German Greens currently stand to lose around seven MEPs at the next election, as they are plateauing at around 13%.

(Nick Alipour | Euractiv.de)

Read more with Euractiv

Polish pro-EU coalition still divided over abortion law

Polish pro-EU coalition still divided over abortion law

The Polish parliament discussed on Thursday a draft bill that would liberalise the country’s strict abortion law, but differing views on how far the new law should go continue to divide the ruling coalition.

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