Over One Third of Ukrainian Refugees Want to Remain in Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 23: A volunteer (L) assists a refugee from Ukraine in a temporary
Adam Berry/Getty Images

Over one-third of Ukrainian refugees in Germany said that they do not want to return to their homeland anytime in the near future, with just two per cent claiming that they plan to return in the next year.

A survey of over 11,000 Ukrainian refugees in Germany, conducted by the Research Center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf) and the German Institute for Economic Research, found that over a third want to stay in Germany for at least several years, while 26 per cent of those said they would like to remain in the country forever.

A further 27 per cent of respondents said they were undecided about when they would like to return home, while one third (34 per cent) said they would like to leave Germany once the war with Russia ends. Just two per cent said they plan to return to Ukraine in the next 12 months.

According to the Central Register of Foreigners, there were 1,026,599 Ukrainians registered as having arrived in Germany since the February 24th invasion of Ukraine by Russia. To date, some 80 per cent of adult refugees have been recorded as being women, largely a result of the Zelensky government’s conscription of military-age males to fight in the war, which reportedly extends to biologically male transgender individuals.

The survey of Ukrainians in Germany found that just 17 per cent of those of working age were employed, despite the refugees being more highly educated and younger than the average population of their home country. One impediment to employment is a lack of language skills, with just one in five claiming to have a good grasp of the German language, however, half of respondents said that they were currently attending a language course.

Another possible hindrance to securing employment is the need for childcare, with nearly half of adult refugees (48 per cent) coming to the country with their children.

Nevertheless, this has led to a strain on public services in Germany, which were already stretched by waves of asylum seekers from Syria and Afghanistan. Ukrainian refugees are permitted to enter the country without the need of a visa and can apply for temporary protection without even needing to apply for asylum. They are also entitled to receive unemployment and other welfare benefits meant for citizens.

Ahead of the winter months, in which more Ukrainians are expected to flee, particularly in light of Russia’s assaults on energy infrastructure throughout the country, cities across Germany have been making preparations to host more arrivals.

Last month, the capital city of Berlin, for instance, announced that it would expand its migrant holding centre at the former Tegel airport in order to accommodate another 3,600 Ukrainian refugees on top of the 1,500 who were already living there. The Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey previously warned that her city was quickly approaching capacity, with the tens of thousands of beds dedicated for refugees being occupied as nearly 100,000 Ukrainians descended upon the city.

Earlier this month, German politician and head of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber MEP warned that his country is “sleepwalking” into another migrant crisis along the lines of 2015, when then-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the gates to around a million migrants from Syria and elsewhere to come to the country caused chaos.

“In view of the ongoing destruction of energy infrastructure in Ukraine by Putin’s terrorist regime, we must prepare for a large number of Ukrainians to come to the EU this winter — and many of them also to Germany, I’m afraid we’ll experience a dramatic escape winter,” Weber said.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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