How are the “major” parties positioning themselves on our core issue of freedom of movement in the German parliamentary elections? As we did for the last European elections, we investigated this question again this year. The graphic (unfortunately only available in German) compares some of the demands from the parties’ election manifestos for the 2024 European elections on the topic of refugees and asylum or immigration and visas.

To read the exact wording from the election manifestos for a specific demand, simply click on the corresponding symbol. At the bottom of the page you will also find further links and information.

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How we created the political party check:

We focused on the question: Which specific demands of the various parties would directly expand or restrict the individual (global) freedom of movement of people without a German passport?

We did not consider frequently mentioned measures, such as an intra-European distribution key for refugees or certain social benefits, as the actual effect on the freedom of movement of individuals would be indirect and therefore difficult to assess.

When collecting the data, we relied exclusively on the information in the respective election manifestos and did not use any other sources (e.g. statements by party representatives or voting behavior in the past)!

A brief explanation of the most important terms:

Humanitarian visa:
A humanitarian visa allows the holder to enter Germany (or another European country) legally in order to apply for asylum. You can find more background information in this dossier on humanitarian visas from VisaWie? (unfortunately only available in German as well)

Through the resettlement programs coordinated by the UNHCR, particularly vulnerable refugees who are in their home country or in a neighbouring country can be taken in directly by a third country. This allows them to obtain refugee status or another residence permit in a safe and legalized manner. States can set themselves quotas for this purpose and beyond, which regulate a certain number of such direct admissions.

Safe countries of origin:
“The law defines countries as safe countries of origin if it can be proven on the basis of the democratic system and the general political situation that there is generally no fear of state persecution there and that the respective state can in principle protect against non-state persecution” (BAMF). The possibility for people from safe countries of origin to obtain protection remains under more restricted conditions, but procedures are accelerated.

Readmission agreements:
EU readmission agreements (EU-RÜA) oblige the contracting parties to readmit their nationals and – under certain conditions – third-country nationals and stateless persons.

Frontex is an agency of the European Union and is designed to help protect the EU’s external borders in order to prevent illegal immigration to Europe.