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Local CSU leader Dobrindt advocates for the repatriation of jobless Ukrainians.

Unemployed Ukrainian refugees, as suggested by CSU State Group leader Alexander Dobrindt, should consider finding jobs in Germany or returning to safer regions of western Ukraine, approximately two years since the war commenced. This proposal has sparked intense backlash from the SPD and the...

Destruction in Kharkiv in the Ukraine
Destruction in Kharkiv in the Ukraine

Local CSU leader Dobrindt advocates for the repatriation of jobless Ukrainians.

Since the Russian offensive war in February 2022, the German government opted to grant automatic residency rights to Ukrainian refugees entering Germany, without the need for asylum application. However, they only receive social benefits, not asylum seeker benefits. Recently, Dobrindt has called for changes in state aid for these refugees.

Dobrindt believes the social benefits, initially intended as temporary aid, have become an impediment, keeping too many people from Ukraine reliant on social welfare. He suggested stronger participation requirements for asylum seekers in terms of employment, requiring a job offer and integration benefits.

The Social Democrats responded harshly, with SPD leader Saskia Esken telling the "Augsburger Allgemeinen" that the role of politics is to ensure a functioning social infrastructure for all refugees, not to impose demands. Esken pointed out that the main reason Ukrainians struggle to find work is the lack of childcare facilities.

Katja Mast, the SPD's parliamentary leader, criticized the CSU for wanting to force mothers with young children back to war zones. Mast deemed these proposals "unbelievable, populist, and uncivilized," accusing the CSU of harboring prejudices against Ukrainians.

The Greens' deputy faction leader Andreas Audretsch accused the CSU of having prejudices against Ukrainians, telling the "Welt." Audretsch claimed the CSU was aiding Moscow's agenda in Germany. Brandenburg's Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) and Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) previously spoke against giving social benefits to Ukrainian refugees, particularly those of military age. The FDP's General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai advocated for asylum seeker benefits instead of social benefits for new refugees.

Wagenknecht noted that in Denmark, over 80% of Ukrainian women and men are employed, while it's only a quarter in Germany, which "rightly enrages the population." Wagenknecht argued that those who take advantage of protection should also contribute to minimizing costs with their own work. However, peace and war remain the crucial questions. Wagenknecht suggested that people should return to their homeland as soon as the weapons fall silent.

The German exception for waiving asylum procedures for Ukrainians is based on an EU decision. According to this decision, Ukrainians are generally recognized as in need of protection under the EU mass influx directive and do not need to undergo an asylum procedure. This exception was recently extended on the EU level until March 2025.

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The Federal Government's decision to offer automatic residency rights to Ukrainian refugees sparked debates among political parties in Germany. Dobrindt, the CSU regional group leader in Bavaria, advocated for stricter employment requirements for jobless Ukrainians receiving social assistance.

In response, SPD leader Saskia Esken criticized Dobrindt's proposals, arguing that they could force mothers with young children back to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Greens' deputy faction leader, Andreas Audretsch, accused the CSU of aiding Moscow's agenda in Germany.

The SPD's parliamentary leader, Katja Mast, deemed Dobrindt's proposals "uncivilized," while the FDP's General Secretary, Bijan Djir-Sarai, advocated for asylum seeker benefits instead of social benefits for new refugees.

Denmark, for instance, has a high employment rate among Ukrainian refugees, as Sahra Wagenknecht pointed out. Wagenknecht argued that those who take advantage of protection should also contribute to minimizing costs with their own work. She suggested that people should return to their homeland as soon as peace is restored.

Brandenburg's Interior Minister Michael Stübgen and Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann previously spoke against giving social benefits to Ukrainian refugees, particularly those of military age. The German exception for waiving asylum procedures for Ukrainians is based on an EU decision.

Under this decision, Ukrainians are generally recognized as in need of protection and do not need to undergo an asylum procedure. This exception was recently extended on the EU level until March 2025. Dobrindt, however, continues to advocate for changes in state aid for these refugees.

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