War in Ukraine: municipalities expect 3,500 euros per month per refugee

Germany Escape from Ukraine

The communities count 3,500 euros per month per refugee

The federal government encourages language courses and admission to the labor market for refugees

For the refugees from Ukraine, their stay in Germany finally means a sense of security. Some have been in the country for weeks and now want to find work. The federal government supports the project, Ukrainians should be able to enter the labor market in the least bureaucratic way possible and also take language courses.

German municipalities fear that they will have to bear the costs of taking care of Ukrainian refugees. The expenses are likely to be higher than those estimated by Scholz and the prime minister. For example, investments in education have not been taken into account.

IThere are still stark differences between federal, state and local governments in the struggle to divide the costs of helping Ukrainians who have fled. Also because it is apparently not clear to what extent the expenses are incurred. There are figures for this at least from the state of Hesse. While Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) recently assumed an average of 2,500 euros per refugee per month, the municipalities of Hesse are counting on expenses of 3,500 euros.

A position paper by the three municipal umbrella organizations in Hesse states: “The towns, districts and municipalities of Hesse claim from the federal government 3,500 euros per refugee per month. This covers “admission, accommodation, language support offers, etc.” appropriate way”. The Hessian city council informed WELT AM SONNTAG that the calculation was based on the average values ​​of the reception of refugees in 2019.

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Arrival of Ukrainian refugees at Berlin Central Station

The association supports 75 euros per day for “accommodation, meals, operating costs” per person. 25 euros were committed for “psychosocial care”, 15 euros for “social work” and 10 euros for the “security service”. The Association of Cities and Municipalities of Brandenburg “shares in principle the cost estimate of the Association of Hessian Cities”, said managing director Jens Graf WELT AM SONNTAG.

The Ministry of Social Affairs in Wiesbaden explained the figure mentioned by Prime Minister Bouffier: “The 2,500 euros is an average calculation which shows the costs of accommodating a refugee in the initial reception center in the state of Hesse, including social care”. WELT AM SONNTAG if Spokesperson A replied that the higher costs indicated by the communal associations were understandable after the people had been distributed to the communes, and that “no statement could be made” about this.

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If the calculations of the Hessian municipalities correspond roughly to the national average expenditure, this would mean a total monthly cost of around one billion euros. About 350,000 people are now registered in Germany who fled to Germany before the Russian attack. So far, however, none of the government agencies has made such a global calculation.

Even the German Association of Cities cannot provide any nationwide information on the approximate financial needs of municipalities to accommodate refugees on request. Deputy CEO Verena Göppert clarifies: “The lump sums for this year that the federal and state governments have agreed on will not be sufficient to cover all costs for the foreseeable future.”

“Unaccounted for” education

Above all, “the permanent investments and operating costs of nurseries and schools” are “not yet really taken into account”. And for post 2022, “financially everything is still open, the federal and state governments must come to an agreement quickly. The cities are committed with a lot of heart and soul. In the end, however, we must not support the costs.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Prime Ministers of the Länder agreed on April 7 that the Federal Government would contribute 2 billion euros to the admission costs of the Länder and local authorities this year. negotiated in November will be. Among other things, it was decided to include Ukrainian refugees in the “normal” social protection system according to the Social Security Code II (SGB II) from June 1.

For other protection seekers, this is only the case after they have been recognized in an asylum procedure which usually lasts months. The majority of rejected but tolerated asylum seekers are treated accordingly after 18 months later.

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Refugee children in a reception center in Dnipro, Ukraine

While “normal” welfare is higher than asylum seeker benefits, most, if not all, municipal associations across the state believe this is a relief for municipalities. For example, the district council of North Rhine-Westphalia declares that health expenses will no longer apply following the decision to accept Ukrainian refugees into social assistance. It says: “While SGB II essentially provides comprehensive health insurance coverage for all people in a community of needs”, asylum seekers are entitled to “individual reimbursement of costs by municipalities”. Only if the annual processing costs in individual cases exceed the amount of 35,000 euros does the state have to bear the costs.

The Association of Hessian Cities is extremely critical of the federal-state resolutions that have been adopted so far: “The commitment to the ‘joint’ responsibility of the federal government in financing is, to put it kindly, far too little”. no agreements on community integration and investment costs.

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Refugees from Ukraine after arriving in Germany

The agreed sentence “Children’s access to crèches should also continue to be made possible quickly” shows that the interlocutors clearly had no idea of ​​the “unrealizable legal claims” that the municipalities “have faced for years, even without the Ukrainian conflict”.

For the president of the Hesse District Association, Wolfgang Schuster, the calculation “for the approximate public expenditure per refugee from Ukraine” of 3,500 euros is “a solid basis”. Current financial support from the federal and state governments is “by no means sufficient” given the expenses incurred by the districts.

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