A study conducted in 600 German local governments shows that many municipalities cannot cope with the influx of refugees and operate in “emergency mode”. Local government officials are appealing to the federal and state governments for help.
The study was carried out by the Mediendienst Integration organization in cooperation with migration researchers from the University of Hildesheim. The report shows that although many municipalities are already operating in emergency mode, the situation is not the same everywhere.
No place for refugees
Researchers found that 40 percent Of the 600 communes examined, there is no place left to accommodate refugees who are sent to individual towns on the basis of a key adopted by the federal government. In the opinion of managers, 60 percent municipalities, the situation is very difficult, but there are still opportunities to get it under control. However, the authors of the study emphasize that the results should be approached with caution, because not all local government officials provided answers to the questions asked. However, as one of the scientists, Boris Kuhn, points out, the study gives a picture of what the situation may look like in Germany as a whole.
Among the problems most frequently reported by local governments, the first one is the inability to accommodate refugees. There are simply no apartments in the communes where asylum seekers could live. Other clear problems include the lack of space in schools and kindergartens and the lack of administrative staff able to handle asylum seekers. It is in the areas mentioned that one third of the surveyed communes are considered overloaded.
– In many municipalities, integration is no longer possible due to exhaustion of resources. Personnel, but also admission opportunities – comments Miriam Marnich from the German Association of Cities and Municipalities.
The study also included demands for both the federal and individual state governments. The largest number of local government officials indicated limiting immigration to Germany and reducing the allocation of asylum seekers to individual municipalities. Another, most frequently repeated demand is the introduction of permanent and reliable financing of local governments to ensure continuous service for asylum seekers. Municipalities are also asking to provide more accommodation, simplify regulations and allocate more funds for social housing.