The federal and state governments want to facilitate a "swift and fair" distribution of refugees from Ukraine in Germany. This is to take place according to the Königstein Key, but special burdens on individual states are to be compensated. This is stated in the proposed resolution for the meeting of the states with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) this Thursday. It says on the distribution of refugees from Ukraine: "The federal government is responsible for coordination and informs the relevant states in each case about the upcoming distributions." The states would "show solidarity" to support those countries where particularly large numbers of refugees have found refuge.
This wording is likely aimed at resistance from countries where particularly large numbers of refugees have already arrived. This applies above all to Berlin, which has already announced that it will no longer proceed unrestrictedly according to the Königstein Key because of the large number of refugees from Ukraine. This key regulates the distribution of refugees among the states according to population and tax revenue. The resolution also states that the German government will continue to advocate solidarity among the member states at the European level when it comes to taking in and caring for refugees.
If the decision on the distribution of refugees is no longer bracketed in the bill - as of Wednesday evening - so that unity can be assumed, the same does not apply to the financial issues. For example, the states are sticking to their demand that the federal government assume one hundred percent of the costs of housing those refugees who receive benefits under the Second Social Code (Hartz IV). The federal government has recently been reluctant to meet this demand, insisting on a smaller share.
Likewise, there is apparently still no agreement on whether the federal government will contribute a lump sum to the costs incurred (and already incurred) by the states before benefits were paid under Social Code II and to what extent special regional burdens will be taken into account. The latter was the case when Bavaria incurred special burdens as a result of the wave of refugees in 2015. The federal and state governments soon want to clarify how the costs of refugees and asylum seekers, even beyond those coming from Ukraine, will be divided between the federal and state governments in the future.
Since refugees from Ukraine are allowed to work in Germany from the beginning, the federal and state governments want to make it easier for them to find a job. The proposed resolution states that, in order to enable "swift" placement in jobs that match the job seekers' qualifications, a self-assessment by the refugees of their professional qualifications should suffice for non-regulated occupations. This is what the German government and the relevant umbrella organizations of the business community had agreed.In the case of regulated professions, the federal and state governments want to work toward rapid and uniform recognition of Ukrainian vocational and educational qualifications.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the Corona pandemic, which has been the focus of meetings of the Conference of Prime Ministers over the past two years, has hardly played a role there. In the current draft resolution, it is only mentioned in connection with the refugees from Ukraine, who are to be offered fast and unbureaucratic vaccination.
Image by Gerd Altmann