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Call for a factual debate on migration in Brandenburg

The signatories of this appeal note with great concern that the debate on flight, migration and integration has intensified dramatically in recent weeks, both nationally and throughout the State of Brandenburg. Factual arguments and realities are increasingly becoming marginalised factors. Instead, the discourse is dominated by misleading claims, populist proposals and rhetoric that is drifting steadily to the right. Flight, migration and integration are presented as the issues that dominate the political field and the cause of many social challenges. Forced migration is problematised and criminalised. Bogus debates are conducted around claimed solutions to channel refugee movements, giving the impression that flight and migration are currently the only problem. In our society, however, there is a plethora of issues that need to be discussed, such as: the climate change, energy supply, social fabric, demographic change, lack of labour and skilled workers. It should also not be forgotten that there is a war going on in the middle of Europe, which has resulted in a movement of refugees. Refugees and migrants are not the cause of social problems. Rather, they point at issues that were relevant in our society even before their arrival. The infrastructure has been neglected, the construction of affordable housing has been too slow and, above all, the supply of the population in rural areas is insufficient. Concrete solutions are required for all these concrete problems. What is not needed at all is the stigmatisation of people. In 2022, Brandenburg took in 38,000 people, including many war refugees from Ukraine; in 2023, the number is expected to be 16,000. This corresponds to 0.67% of Brandenburg’s population. We all have to face up to whatever effort is needed to welcome the new people. However, by permanently placing them at the centre of the political debate and even promoting proposals that are even more restrictive against them, the debate is shifting to the right and poisoning the climate in society. Ultimately, this is a threat to our democracy.

We call for joint efforts by politics and civil society for a democratic Brandenburg that is open to the world:

  • for an factual debate,
  • no election campaigns at the expense of refugees;
  • social groups must not be played off against each other;
  • Let us realise the potential of the people who have come to us. Skilled workers and highly- qualified people are urgently needed in Brandenburg.
  • Constructive policies for the benefit of all citizens
  • No benefits in kind and obligation to work for people seeking protection;
  • Continuation of the Brandenburg’s admission programme for Syria.

This appeal can be signed at: www.aufruf-migrationsdebatte-brandenburg.de #menschlichbleiben

Contact: Dr. Doris Lemmermeier, Integration Commissioner of the State of Brandenburg integrationsbeauftragte@msgiv.brandenburg.de

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