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MPF Special Edition: Legal and Practical Feasibility of Safe Third Country Schemes

Prominent political actors in Brussels and the Member States are pushing for the realisation of safe third country schemes, following the British ‘Rwanda Plan’ and the Italian ‘Albania Model’. The special edition of the Migration Policy Forum (in German language), organised by the Research Centre Immigration & Asylum Law of the University of Konstanz, serves as a platform for experts from ministries, NGOs, parliaments, courts, academia, and civil society to discuss regulatory options and…

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[Translate to Englisch:] Thumbnail: "Straftäter abschieben: (wie) geht das?" in zdfheute

Forced Returns to Afghanistan and Syria?

Several European countries have started a discussion as to weather Syrians and Afghans who are not facing persecution can be returned to their home states. That debate has reached Germany following the murder of a policemen by what appears to be a racial Islamist. Such debates are notoriously complex: both legally and politically. Professor Thym explains the practical options and the legal limitations in interviews with the news channels ZDFheute LIVE (‘Frage der politischen Prioritätensetzung’)

[Translate to Englisch:] Cover des Buches "Deutschland als Einwanderungsland"

Open Access Publication ‘Germany as a Country of Immigration’ (in German)

A popular reference in the public debate is the designation of Germany as a ‘country of immigration’ (Einwanderungsland). The term is often used in an affirmative manner, as if the recognition of a factual reality was a self-fulfilling prophecy what should be done. That would obviously be too simple. ‘Countries of immigration’ need lively and constructive debate about the future rules and policies governing entry into the territory and the equal membership of those residing legally. In the open

75 years of the German Basic Law and the right to asylum: Back to the future

Western countries are once again having controversial discussions about the right to asylum. Many see a need for reform, from administrative practice to legislation. Such focus on change contrasts with an international debate which presents the Refugee Convention as a ‘magna carta’, thus suggesting timeless guidance. The Migration Policy Forum (MPF) on Thursday, 23 May 2024, will accentuate this long-term perspective on the 75th anniversary of the German Basic Law with the aim of better…

Talk Show ‘Marcus Lanz’ on External Asylum Procedures

Asylum policy has always been controversial. German politicians increasingly embrace the idea of external processing, emulating the model set by the British ‘Rwanda plan’ and the Italian ‘Albania project’. The issue has even reached the prominent prime time talk show ‘Markus Lanz’ on the public television – with Professor Thym as one of four guests (he appears at minute 39’30, 52’26, and 1‘05‘58). Moving beyond domestic politics, the debate involved heartbreaking pictures from a recent TV…

UK Parliament Approves ‘Safety of Rwanda Bill’

Politicians across European have promoted external processing in safe third countries for more than 20 years. Finally, the idea may face the reality check if the British government moves ahead with the controversial returns to Rwanda. If that happened, to critical questions would arise: firstly, will British courts and the ECtHR in Strasbourg accept the claim of the British government that the local asylum system works effectively in accordance with European standards; secondly, will it be…

Consent of the European Parliament to the Asylum Reform Package

After eight years of strenuous negotiations, the European Parliament has given its consent to the seminal reform package. This endpoint of the negotiations is the starting shot for implementation, which might prove the at least as cumbersome. Professor Thym explains practical pitfalls in an interview with WELT TV (‘Die Verfahren sind zu kompliziert und dauern viel zu lange’) with regard to border procedures, secondary movements and return. It is in the self-interest of the EU institutions and…

Social Benefits for Asylum Applicants and Returnees and the German Constitution

In a unique line of judgments, the German constitutional court interprets the German constitution to require near-equal treatment of asylum applicants and returnees with German nationals in the domain of core social benefits, while the precise contours of the case law are contested. Professor Thym joins an expert hearing in the Committee for Work and Social Affairs of the German parliament, both with a written statement and orally (in German). His views have also been taken up by newspaper…

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Safe Third Countries and External Processing

Rwanda and Albania are receiving much attention these days, not least in Germany where the government is examining the option of sending asylum applicants to third states. To do so can be compatible with human rights, if several conditions are being fulfilled. At the same time, there are different options of how such a project could be realised – as exemplified by differences between the British ‘Rwanda plan’ and the Italian ‘Albania model’. Professor Thym explains the options and potential…

Racism: How Can the State and Administration Respond?

The German government aims at improving state structures to prevent racism and right-wing extremism. To this end, the InRa Study ‘Institutions & Racism’, funded by the Federal Ministry of Interior, is developing a toolbox of instruments in a project coordinated by Prof. Daniel Thym and Prof. Judith Froese from the University of Konstanz. On 27 February 2024, a workshop will discuss tried-and-tested instruments from administrative practice, identify key problems and gaps and elaborate untapped…