Cities and municipalities are facing major challenges due to the new wave of refugees from Ukraine. What have administrations learned from the 2015 refugee crisis? Are you better prepared now? “Unlike 2015, we have a functioning reception culture, which includes an integration manager. The main problem remains the acceptance of many Ukrainian people, even if we have received an admirable wave of availability “, explains Jan Wiegels, Mayor of Mölln.
Martin Bruns, head of the interim administration in the nearby town of Ratzeburg, also talks about functioning structures. In 2015, further guidelines were adopted in the island city for the admission of refugees and asylum seekers.
Mölln wants to buy residential containers
“We learned from this,” says Norbert Lütjens, mayor of Schwarzenbek. All that remained was to reactivate the measures of hospitalization, accommodation and care. “But the Ukrainians are completely different. They are more west-oriented, “says Lütjens.” Yes, we certainly learned from the situation, “says Thomas Burmester, who heads the Office for Citizen Registration and the Interior of the City of Lauenburg. The personal experiences of the staff who was in the company then and today they lead to effective action.
The situation in the real estate market is already tense. Municipalities need to think about new housing for refugees. According to Wiegels, the purchase of residential containers is planned in Mölln. Efforts are also being made to rent residential complexes. “It is incomprehensible and frustrating that a large number of empty apartments in the city are not made available to accommodate refugees,” complains Wiegels. “So far we have been able to take advantage of the private accommodation offered,” reports Burmester from Lauenburg. The city currently has its own housing available. “However, we assume that we will have to use the real estate market from mid-April. However, the owners have already promised us support, “says Burmester.
Ratzeburg rents an empty retirement home for refugees
Nearly 100 refugees have arrived in Schwarzenbek and there is currently no need to create a new living space. Good contacts with private landlords and building associations have led to this. By the way, 30 to 40 people are already accommodated in the old secondary school. Then this accommodation will be reactivated. The situation in Ratzeburg also looks good. Furthermore, according to Bruns, a lease has now been signed for an empty retirement home on Schweriner Strasse. According to Bruns, another 140 people could therefore be accommodated.
In some areas, cities would like support from the state or federal government. “It would be desirable to have a stronger network between state reception centers and municipalities so that the accommodation of assigned refugees can be better planned with a longer delivery time,” says Jan Wiegels. Furthermore, the quality of the data transmitted should be improved, as they are often not meaningful to municipalities. This creates an unnecessary need for further clarification on the spot.
There is a lack of nursery schools and psychological care
According to Burmester of Lauenburg, aid from the Schleswig-Holstein state and the federal government should be reflected primarily in financial terms. The circles of helpers would be reconstituted very quickly. Also in this case a minimum of equipment is practically and financially necessary. “Furthermore, these must continue to be organized. This requires more full-time staff and volunteer positions, ”says Burmester.
Lütjens sees coordinating volunteering in Schwarzenbek as the biggest challenge requiring help. “The offers of help from the population are enormous,” he says. Doctors and restaurateurs also offer their help. But it is important to organize everything in a targeted way. The head of the Mölln administration, Jan Wiegels, stressed the lack of social and psychological support for refugees and the lack of childcare places. Furthermore: “The expenses incurred in renting the living spaces should be fully borne by the state or federal government without bureaucracy.” The state had already announced earlier this week a flat rate of 500 euros per arriving refugee. According to Burmester, however, this is barely enough. “This should be improved.”
By Florian Grombein