Which western values ​​are bad

What connects Europe

No need for self-righteousness

The German demand for a European solution to the refugee problem, for joint efforts to secure the external borders and a fair distribution of those seeking protection, is well founded. However, it must not be presented in a form that our neighbors perceive as self-righteous and presumptuous - as an attempt to create a “German Europe”, at least in the area of ​​asylum policy. Germany only opened up to the political culture of the West very late, after the catastrophic failure of the National Socialist dictatorship.

It tried to learn from the failure of its rebellion against the political consequences of the Enlightenment in the form of the ideas of 1776 and 1789, and where it had the opportunity, initially only in the west of the divided country, a functioning, pluralistic democracy western style erected. But there is no need for self-righteousness. This also applies to the asylum and refugee issue.

The German special way

There were good reasons, after the experience of unjust rule in the years after 1933, to include the sentence in the Bonn Basic Law of 1949: "Those who are politically persecuted enjoy the right to asylum." but as a right to be granted by the state. Since then, the question of whether the Federal Republic has promised more than it can deliver has been asked again and again, also in Germany itself.

It cannot be rejected across the board, just as another, equally self-critical question: When reforming the asylum law article in 1993, did we not only preserve the principle of 1949 on the surface, namely at the expense of third parties, the so-called safe third countries? Wouldn't it have been more honest to adhere to the principle: The Federal Republic of Germany grants the right of asylum to those who are politically persecuted according to their ability to receive and integrate? The principle of helping the politically persecuted and civil war refugees according to one's own capabilities would be a good motto for all member states of the EU. Unfortunately, it cannot be expected in the foreseeable future that everyone will follow it.

A sustainable humanitarian asylum policy

It is by no means only the new member states in east-central and south-east Europe that have been admitted to the Community since 2004, but also states in which migrants make up a large proportion of the population, such as the former colonial powers Great Britain and the United Kingdom France. Economically strong Germany, however, should help refugees to the best of its ability even if that means it remains in the minority in the European Union.

To the best of our ability: That also means that a humanitarian asylum policy that wants to be sustainable must ensure that the conditions of its possibility are still secured tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. These conditions not only include observance of the limits of absorption and integration capacity, but also the political support of the population, on which governments and parliaments in democratic states are essentially dependent. In his famous lecture “Politics as a Profession” in 1919, Max Weber described the ethical position (as opposed to the ethical) as the insight “that one has to pay for the (foreseeable) consequences of one's actions”. A sustainable asylum policy that is aware of its possible domestic political consequences must therefore do everything to maintain the population's trust in the state's ability to act.