The results of the refugee summit of the federal and state governments have met with criticism from both the municipalities and the opposition in the Bundestag. "An agreement only in November comes significantly too late for the year 2024 and is met with great disappointment by the municipalities," said the chief executive of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, the "Rheinische Post". He commented on the fact that a permanent solution to finance refugee accommodation had been postponed until the autumn. "This is a bad signal to the cities," said the President of the Association of Cities, Markus Lewe, the newspaper.

"The districts cannot really be satisfied with a postponement of pressing problems," said the President of the German District Association, Reinhard Sager, to the newspapers of the Funke media group. The representatives of the municipalities had not been invited to the meeting.

At the agreement reached on Wednesday evening, the federal government had pledged one billion euros as an additional contribution to the costs of refugee care for this year. However, the future breakdown of the costs will first be discussed in a working group and will not be decided until November. The billion is "just a drop in the ocean," Landsberg criticized.

"Summit of disappointment"

The amount is intended to support the federal states in providing additional relief for their municipalities and financing the digitization of immigration authorities. The federal government had previously pledged 1.5 billion euros for war refugees from Ukraine this year and 1.25 billion euros for other refugees. Saxony, Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt expressed their reservations about the summit results in a protocol declaration.

The leader of the Left Party in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, called the round in the Chancellery a "disappointment summit" in an interview with the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. The chairmen of the AfD parliamentary group, Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla, described the results as "not suitable for initiating the urgently needed migration turnaround in Germany. More money for more refugees won't solve the refugee crisis, it will prolong it."

The increase in participation is seen as a concession to the federal states. However, they see the federal government as having a fundamental duty. "The federal government alone holds the key to controlling and limiting migration. As long as he does not use this key sufficiently, he must contribute to the costs of the states and municipalities," said Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU), who will be chairman of the Minister-Presidents' Conference (MPK) in November.

The summit's resolution paper also states: "From the point of view of the federal states, there is a need for a breathing system in which the financial support of the federal government is based on the number of refugees entering the country."

Declarations of intent by the German government to curb so-called irregular migration more strongly were largely welcomed, even if negotiations at EU level are still imminent. In order to enforce deportations more consistently, the federal and state governments have also agreed to extend the maximum duration of custody from the current 10 to 28 days, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

People can be taken into custody if they are to be deported to their home countries, but who have often behaved uncooperatively - for example, with false information about their nationality. According to the information, expanded responsibilities of the Federal Police and an improved exchange of information between judicial and immigration authorities were also agreed.