2 October 2015

On 1 October, Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, presented his report on Germany following his visits to the country on 24 April and from 4 to 8 May 2015. The Commissioner welcomed the efforts undertaken by Germany in the field of asylum, and especially its willingness to accept many Syrian refugees.

To favour integration, the Commissioner recalled the importance of “strengthening […] language courses, which should start as early as possible.” Moreover, he also suggested that “further steps should be taken to improve asylum seekers’ access to health care”. He urged “the German authorities to ensure that refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection fully enjoy their right to family reunification, in particular by reducing waiting times for obtaining a visa.”

Mr. Muižnieks expressed his concern about the surge in racist attacks, especially targeted at asylum seekers shelters, and urged the authorities to broaden the scope of combating racism from a prevalent focus on organised far-right groups to individuals who may not be associated with those groups.

Importantly, “The Commissioner strongly believes that there is a pressing need to overhaul the Dublin Regulation and calls on Germany to take the lead in promoting the necessary steps to replace it with a more human-rights oriented system.”

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 2 October 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.