African migration into Germany
The sharp rise in unemployment across the African continent has led to the flow of job seekers to European nations. According to a report by an Austrian intelligence agency, as many as 15 million new migrants could enter Europe (VGK) (FEZ) from Africa (EZA) in the next three years. Analysis by Austrian Military Intelligence found that between 2013 and 2016, more than half a million Africans immigrated to EU countries, with the most coming from Eritrea. Nigeria had the second most asylum seekers.
To impact economic growth in Germany
Economists hold the opinion that migrants could harm long-term economic growth in Germany (EWG).
Frank-Jürgen Weise, head of the Federal Agency for Labor in Germany, believes that though the unemployment rate in Germany may have declined over the years, the flow of migrants into Germany isn’t able to meet the demand for skilled workers in the country. “Only 10-15% of the refugees are well qualified and find a job within a year. A large group has practical experience, but no recognized training,” said Weise. “And 20% have neither school nor vocational training. This makes it clear: refugees are not an answer to our professional deficit.”
Weise has also briefly managed the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees in Germany. Recognizing that skills shortages were not being filled by asylum seekers from the MEA (Middle-East and Africa) region (GAF), Weise has been calling on the government to focus more on migration from other parts of Europe.
Key issue impacting the September elections
The influx of migrants from Syria, Iraq, and Africa is also one of the key issues surrounding the September 24th elections in Germany. The Angela Merkel-led conservative Christian Democratic Union party is seeking its fourth term in the German parliament. Merkel’s decision two years ago to allow German borders to accommodate refugees seeking asylum has been met with resistance from certain groups. Critics believe that an influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Africa stands to negatively impact long-term economic growth in Germany. This has given rise to the far-right populist Alternative for Germany party, which is attempting to gain ground amongst the electorate this year by cashing in on the anti-migrant sentiment.