The reorganization of the EU asylum system means detention and possible deportation to war zones for refugees. It forces the Greens to make contortions.

Two protesters hold a protest banner.

Protest against the tightening of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) in November 2023 Photo: Florian Boillot

Until recently, the Green Party website had a thematic section called “Refugees.” There was a clear sentence in it: “We reject early checks of asylum procedures at the external borders.” This page is no longer accessible. Instead, there is a forwarding that speaks of “humanity, order and solidarity on the border.” The semantic distance with the CDU is only a hair's breadth: the passage on the same topic is titled “Our path to humanity and order.”

The Greens and the Union outline the benefits of the reorganization of the EU asylum system, GEAS, which was decided by the EU Parliament on Wednesday.

He foresees – and this is an idea of ​​the former German CSU Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer – that a large number of people arriving at the external borders will be detained in the future and will have to go through rapid procedures. Officially, they are considered “not entered” during this time. Anyone who has previously been to a “safe third country” should be able to be deported there very easily, even if these “safe third countries,” like Turkey, in turn deport people to war zones or unsafe states like Afghanistan.

In this way, the EU gets rid of people, but it does not escape its moral responsibility.

In this way, the EU gets rid of people, but it does not escape its moral responsibility. The new SECA is a system of disenfranchisement and isolation. It was only possible at EU level because Germany pushed for a deal last summer. The Green Party leadership announced that it could implement a “binding distribution mechanism” within the EU. The GEAS clearly contradicted the party's decision.

The distribution mechanism, whose existence is still invoked today, was never actually foreseen. Now there will be no such payment, but only an obligation to pay for countries that accept very few refugees. But there are certainly arrests for the weakest, including children, something Green Party leaders have promised to prevent.

Annalena Baerbock campaigned for GEAS on Wednesday before the vote, calling it a “milestone” for “humanity and order.” But she couldn't even fool her own group in the Brussels Parliament. She saw clearly and rejected the commitment.