A group of so-called real politicians in the Greens is calling for a new course in migration policy. A shift to the right is also to be feared in Germany if citizens continue to lose their sense of security, according to a manifesto by the Vert Realos group. The signatories include Tübingen’s Lord Mayor Boris Palmer, the former leader of the Greens in the Bundestag, Rezzo Schlauch, and the ex-Member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms. “Vert” means “green” in French.

The demand for a reorientation comes shortly after the repeat elections in Berlin, in which the Greens came in third place, a hair’s breadth behind the SPD – but far behind the election winner, the CDU. A major topic of the vote was the riots on New Year’s Eve in the capital. The Greens were then outraged by statements by CDU politicians on integration policy.

War, asylum and economic migrants

There is still “no concept for successful integration or the consistent return of refugees to their homeland as soon as this can be justified or they want it themselves,” says the memorandum of the Greens-Realos. “The migrants don’t know what is expected of them and set off on the long journey with false hopes.” Hardly any distinction is made between war, asylum and economic migrants.

Asylum seekers must fit into the “historically evolved social order of the Federal Republic of Germany,” was one of the demands from the manifesto. The granting of asylum also presupposes that asylum seekers participate in the admission procedure and do not become criminal. “Otherwise, the right to asylum and thus the right of residence will lapse, which must also result in deportation (as soon as possible).”

Approval for the manifesto came from the FDP. Secretary General Bijan Djir-Sarai suggested talking about a new course in migration and integration policy. “We urgently need a migration and integration policy in Germany that is in line with reality, is in the interest of our country and does not ignore the concerns of the citizens,” said Djir-Sarai of the German Press Agency. And: “The catastrophic mistakes of the Merkel years must not be repeated.”

Lessons for Lindner after the Berlin election

After the Berlin election, FDP leader Christian Lindner had to learn lessons for the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP at federal level – one point: integration policy. Lindner said that people would not let politically correct arguments talk them out of the “observations of unsuccessful integration in everyday life”. There is a very clear expectation to prevent irregular migration to Germany. Against this background, the memorandum of the Greens-Realos comes – for the party leadership, the debate that is likely to follow threatens to become uncomfortable.

At a meeting in Berlin on Thursday, the federal, state and local governments agreed on better coordination on the accommodation and care of refugees. However, the President of the German District Association, Reinhard Sager, was dissatisfied with the overall results.

Palmer began his third term as mayor of Tübingen in January. His membership in the Greens will be suspended until the end of 2023 because of a dispute over taboo breaches and allegations of racism. After Palmer’s recent election victory, several politicians from the Realo wing spoke out in favor of a rapprochement between him and the party.