Only notorious optimists expect the "refugee summit" to make a decisive contribution to better coping, let alone controlling, the strong irregular immigration to Germany. The 16 state premiers would be satisfied if the federal government only promised (much) more money for accommodation.

In the Chancellery, Olaf Scholz is someone who was prime minister himself and knows how united the countries are playing their game. Scholz is nevertheless playing poker with the help of his Chancellery Minister in order to get at least tangible commitments from the states for the new funds that will inevitably flow in the end.

For example, there is an urgent need for a nationwide networked digital administration of refugees in order to finally get an overview of the current status of their procedures or social services. The very run-up to this meeting illustrates the agony of German federalism. It is becoming less and less clear what its advantages are today, because each level shifts responsibility to the other to the best of its ability.