The refugee summit is a meeting in the engine room of domestic politics. The actual questions – open borders or close borders? Capture or deter? – stay outside. There is silence on the command bridge. This creates a dangerous political vacuum.

This Tuesday is about more space and more money for people who have already come to Germany to seek protection here. Regardless of their origin. Therein lies the first problem: Because it makes no difference for the municipalities whether they have to accommodate a Ukrainian or a Syrian, the necessary differentiation does not take place.

This is dangerous – especially for Ukrainians, most of whom are Ukrainian – around a third of Ukraine refugees are children. In contrast, mainly young men with a different cultural background came to Germany from Syria.

Most Ukrainians do not see themselves as refugees, but more and more of them have to be accommodated in collective accommodation. The Association of Towns and Municipalities calls Ukrainian refugees “displaced persons”, which may be legally correct – but it is politically questionable

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“Expellees” were, for example, those who came to Germany as a result of Hitler’s war of aggression from Poland, which had been “shifted” west of Russia as a result of the war. In any case, the people who had been displaced from their homeland came to stay. The Ukrainian “displaced persons” are coming today to go – when Vladimir Putin and his enlisted soldiers have let go of them.

And, unlike refugees from Islamic countries such as Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq, Ukrainians do not bring any cultural integration problems with them, but instead present the German state with an integration problem. Unlike asylum seekers, they are allowed to work immediately. They are well qualified, but most of them don’t speak German, but they do speak English.

Many more of them could actually work if the German state recognized their professional and academic qualifications and did not insist on German as a prerequisite for entry into the labor market. There are now a number of absurd examples of how highly qualified people – IT experts, for example – fail in the bureaucratic German labor market.

In any case, there are now first- and second-class refugees. Ukrainians are privileged. Unlike asylum seekers, they are entitled to basic security. The difference is worth a lot: According to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, asylum seekers get 367 euros, Ukrainians 449 euros according to basic security.

Medical care is also better, and there is no residency requirement for Ukrainians – the state cannot dictate where they have to live. This leads to overburdening of the reception camps in metropolitan areas. The privileging of the Ukrainians is of course not a German decision. But a European one.

For the first time, the “mass influx policy” introduced as a result of the Yugoslav wars is being applied. Ukrainian refugees do not have to go through an asylum procedure, which would overwhelm any state given their mass influx (hence the name of the directive). The German state in particular.

That’s why there’s a lot of talk about the Ukrainians in politics right now, and in fact every Russian attack on civilians and the infrastructure increases the risk of what migration researcher Gerald Knaus calls a “historic winter of displacement”.

The government talks much less about the non-Ukrainian refugees, whose numbers are growing again: the number of “illegal border crossings” increased by 47 percent in the first half of the year. And in Germany’s neighboring countries such as Austria, it is being registered how rapidly the asylum immigration from India – the largest democracy in the world – is growing. “The measure is full,” Austria’s Chancellor Nehammer told the world.

There are many reasons for that. One of the most important is Serbia. The country has developed into a “smuggling state”, as Zeit Europe correspondent Ulrich Ladurner described it on ARD. Border guards cooperate with people smugglers, and the visa policy has made Serbia a gateway for illegal immigration – including to Germany.

That’s not all: Greece and most countries along the “Balkan route” are closing their borders to refugees. On the one hand. And on the other hand, they open it up to those refugees who do manage to get in and who want to travel on to Germany – that is, most of them.

Turkey in particular is responsible for another “pull” factor – the word the Social Democrats and the Greens don’t like. Coming under domestic political pressure, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that he will send Syrian refugees home again. It is understandable that with this prospect many would prefer an existence under Olaf Scholz to one under Bashar al-Assad.

None of this can be discussed at a German refugee summit – but they are the ultimately decisive questions. Consequently, and even before the Lower Saxony elections, which were disastrous for them, the FDP proposed a European refugee summit.

Under red-green direction, the traffic light government puts the refugees from Ukraine at the center of the discussion. Talking about the other groups would make the discussion uncomfortable for them. Then it would have to be discussed whether the government is right when it – as the only government in Europe – is currently liberalizing its migration policy while others are tightening it.

The traffic light is currently planning a series of laws that will make life easier for refugees:

Integration courses are to be offered while the asylum process is still ongoing, including for people who come from safer countries of origin

A “opportunity right of residence” turns illegal immigrants who are obliged to leave the country but did not have to leave the country into immigrants who should then be able to naturalize more easily. This is what the coalition agreement announces, which promised a “paradigm shift” in migration policy.

Whether a more than ten percent increase in “citizen’s income” – ex Hartz IV – will be a “pull” factor is naturally disputed between the government and the opposition.

Other states are doing the complete opposite. Greece is planning a 200-kilometer fence on its border with Turkey. France wants to deport rejected asylum seekers “immediately”. Denmark outsources its asylum procedures from Europe. The Netherlands, Italy and, after the Social Democrats were voted out of office there, the Swedes are planning stricter regulations for refugees.

Eastern Europeans – Poles, Czechs and Baltics in particular – take in most Ukrainians in Europe, but steadfastly refuse to house refugees from Islamic countries. This is one reason why German efforts to come up with a different distribution formula for refugees in Europe have been unsuccessful.

The German government’s migration policy evokes two dangers: It risks damaging the welcoming mood towards the Ukrainians. And she risks a German going it alone in Europe.