Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) described the German government’s approval of the EU asylum compromise as one of her most difficult decisions.

It was “certainly one of the hardest political days” for her to “make this decision,” she said on Saturday at the 38th German Evangelical Church Congress in Nuremberg. You asked yourself: “How do I make the status quo, the real reality, better?” The aim was “that more people be treated humanely”. Unfortunately, this also includes “accepting the bitter truth that it is worse for some”.

Reform of the EU asylum system

The plans for a far-reaching reform of the EU asylum system, which were agreed with the support of the German government, provide for numerous additions and tightening to limit illegal migration. In particular, it is planned to deal much more harshly with people from countries that are considered relatively safe. In the future, after crossing the border, they are to be housed in strictly controlled reception facilities. The asylum compromise had caused sharp criticism in the ranks of Baerbock’s green party.

She opted for the compromise “because inaction is not an alternative,” said Baerbock at a panel discussion with former Federal President Joachim Gauck on the subject of “Values, ethics, interests – foreign policy action at a turning point”. “Germany cannot abstain on such an issue,” stressed the Foreign Minister. “That would have led to states like Hungary and Poland setting the standard.” Without the compromise, “there would have been internal borders again,” said the Green politician. “Then the consequence would have been that every state would have said: I do what I want.”