According to estimates by the federal government, many Ukrainian refugees will remain in Germany for the time being even after the war is over. This was made clear by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (both SPD) on Tuesday when they visited a facility for refugees in Berlin.

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Berlin’s Senator for Social Affairs, Katja Kipping (left), also believes that the number of Ukrainian war refugees in the capital may increase again. At the moment, the number of arrivals in Berlin has dropped a bit to 500 a day, “but we have to expect a sharp increase again at any time,” said Kipping. “It depends on how the war develops.”

It also depends on developments in other host countries such as Poland. “So if, for example, the Polish government cuts social benefits significantly, this can lead to a dynamic that, for example, the numbers go up again at the beginning of July.”

Faeser, on the other hand, said: “I don’t think that we will have a sudden increase because of our neighboring country.” Poland grants Ukrainians full access to the labor market and to the social security systems.

However, Faeser also pointed out that the development of the war was unpredictable. More than 850,000 refugees from Ukraine have now registered in Germany. Many of them have probably returned to their homeland in the meantime.

According to Heil, the integration of refugees in Germany is taking place “in big steps”. Setting the course accordingly is sensible. “Even if the war soon comes to a standstill and there is a ceasefire, the destruction will be so severe that it is not realistic for many people to return in a short time,” said Heil. “That’s why we in Germany will need generosity longer.”

There are also many children and young people among the refugees from Ukraine. The teachers’ association is demanding more support from the state for integration into the German school system. “Without a massive support package from the federal government, the states will not be able to shoulder this task,” said association president Heinz-Peter Meidinger on Sunday to the editorial network Germany (RND).

Meidinger complained that it often depends solely on the situation on site whether a child is placed in a regular class or in its own welcome class, to what extent there are German lessons and what additional human and financial resources are available. “These are extremely poor conditions for giving the children who will stay longer in Germany a permanent integration perspective.” The Conference of Ministers of Education must create a concept with clear content and make commitments as to how much additional staff and money the schools should get.