Germany’s efforts to manage immigration have taken a turn as Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet decided to classify Moldova and Georgia as “safe countries of origin.”
However, amidst this decision, calls for the inclusion of Maghreb countries Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are gaining momentum.
The new classification, awaiting parliamentary approval, is part of Germany’s broader strategy to organize asylum processes, particularly following the acceptance of more than a million Ukrainian refugees who fled the war last year.
In the wake of these developments, there is a growing chorus of voices advocating for the inclusion of Morocco in the list of “safe countries of origin.” This move would tighten immigration policies even further.
Supporters of this notion argue that Morocco shares many characteristics with the countries already classified as “safe,” including a stable political situation and a functioning legal system.
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany, while critical of the cabinet’s decision, have issued a statement voicing their concern, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
They view the current classification as “only a drop in the ocean,” suggesting that “in addition to extending border controls, it would also be urgently necessary to classify the Maghreb states of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia as safe countries of origin.”
In the current year, Germany has received a staggering 188,000 asylum applications. A significant portion of these applications – 6,612 from Georgians and 1,910 from Moldovans between January and July – has faced an approval rate of just 0.15%, according to data from the German Interior Ministry.
While Georgians and Moldovans can still apply for asylum, the “safe country of origin” classification significantly reduces their chances of approval.
In addition, this designation shortens legal deadlines, particularly for appeals against negative asylum decisions, with appeals carrying no suspensive effect, potentially leading to deportations during ongoing trials.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has lauded the cabinet’s decision as a crucial step towards managing those who seek a better life in Germany but may not meet the asylum criteria.
She noted that over 10% of rejected asylum applications come from Georgia and Moldova, underlining the necessity of promptly curbing irregular migration. “Here, we can effectively reduce irregular migration very quickly.”