The government of Germany has suspended its participation in a voluntary pact to accept migrants who enter EU territory through Italy, suspending the agreement until further notice.
The move comes as the Bundestag has accused Italian authorities of failing to abide by the rules of the Dublin declaration which says that asylum seekers entering Europe must remain in the country they first reach and have their asylum claims processed there.
Rome has argued that because of Italy’s proximity to the African continent where the southern island of Lampedusa has for years now been absorbing large numbers of boat migrants that the Dublin declaration rules put the country in an unfair position.
The European Union had introduced the scheme in order to alleviate the pressure on border states like Italy under which Germany was to accept 3,500 migrants who first arrived in Italy: however it was reported that only 1,700 had reached Germany by the time Berlin halted its participation in the scheme.
A spokesperson for the German interior ministry said, ‘Given the currently high migratory pressure of Germany, the ongoing suspension of Dublin transfers by some member states, including Italy, reinforces the major challenges Germany is currently facing in terms of its reception and accommodation capacity.’
Germany has seen a substantial increase in the number of asylum seekers recording 205,000 asylum applications this year to the end of August.
This represents a 77% increase in the number of applications compared to the same period last year.
Yesterday, Gript reported that since Tuesday this week approximately 7,000 boat migrants have arrived on Italian shores overwhelming authorities on Lampedusa which has a population of about 6,000 residents.
Am Hafen von Lampedusa warten gerade hundert, wenn nicht sogar mehr als 1.000 Menschen auf Schiffe, um nach Sizilien überzusiedeln. Es sind nur junge Männer. Und immer wieder eskaliert die Situation. @niusde_ pic.twitter.com/ui9KfnFM6f
— Jan A. Karon (@jannibal_) September 15, 2023
Reporting for German news outlet NIUS, Jan A. Karon who is on the ground in Lampedusa said, “At the port of Lampedusa there are currently a hundred, if not more than 1,000 people waiting for ships to move to Sicily. They’re just young men. And the situation keeps escalating”