Federal-Vienna dispute over citizenship requirements – wien.ORF.at

The ÖVP has made its contribution to the government's responsibility to reduce the number of asylum applications, saying that it is now “Vienna's task to prepare the social system so that people do not come to Vienna for social benefits, but because of jobs”. ÖVP General Secretary Christian Stocker. If you pay more than all the other federal states, you should not be surprised that more people come to Vienna.

The goal should be to get people to where they work, not where they get more social assistance, Stocker said. The ÖVP, as the ruling party, does not see AMS boss Johannes Kopf's proposal according to which recognized refugees should receive social assistance only in the federal state where their asylum procedure took place. Stocker said it's not about a federal regulation, but about a 15a agreement between states. It's not enough to escalate everything to the federal level because you didn't do your own homework.

The federal government and Vienna are fighting over residency requirements

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But Vienna's mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) still sees the ball in the federal court: “We have been pushing for fair distribution for a long time. “One sometimes has the impression that there is certainly a desired effect in causing trouble in Vienna, otherwise one cannot explain why the central government takes no major action here except in party political discussions.”

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The city government wants a three-year residency requirement

Given the growing number of family reunifications, the city is demanding a residency requirement for recognized refugees. Unemployed persons entitled to asylum must therefore stay for three years in the federal state where their asylum procedure took place. Vienna's deputy mayor Christoph Wiederkehr (NEOS) stressed that this would not be abandoned. He is satisfied that the project is being discussed and is getting “more and more support,” he noted AMS boss Kopf. Vienna is currently in high demand.

Wiedercare said 350 children were enrolled in schools through family reunification in March alone. The ÖVP's statements are “strange”. Pointing to Vienna alone and accusing Vienna itself of “indecent tricks”. It is important to have uniform social standards with adequate support for integration to be successful. “The goal can't be for everyone to go to the point where everyone becomes homeless and criminal.”

Analysis by Oliver Ortner, editor-in-chief of ORF Vienna

Residency Requirements: Political Debate and Legal Concerns

Given the increased family reunification of asylum-seekers, the controversy over residency requirements for asylum-seekers in Vienna continues. The ÖVP again rejected the request. The red-pink city government again accused the central government of abandoning Vienna.

The SPÖ sees “scorn”.

The SPÖ ÖVP and the interior ministry it leads have accused Vienna of trying to reunite the family for months. “Every application for family reunification has been confirmed by the black interior ministry, but Vienna has always been left in the dark about the reunification numbers,” said Christian Axonich (SPÖ), a spokesman for the unification. It is a “mockery” to the city and its citizens.

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Judith Bühringer, head of the Vienna Greens, reiterated her party's legal concerns about the residency requirement: “The proposal of the SPÖ and NEOS failed on all levels: it is discriminatory and violates human rights, it does not. Fundamental rights and – last but not least – as the head of the conference of state governors Ludwig, finally the question of distribution to the other federal states.

“Principle of Coordinating Instead of Burden Distribution”

Apart from the political wrangling, the question of whether and how the residency requirement is legally possible also arises. That's difficult, said Barbara Cornelli-Weichelbaum of the Institute for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Vienna. Because European law, international law and domestic law must be taken into account. It will be complicated but not impossible. It should not be about load distribution but about the principle of coordination.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in 2016 that a residence requirement is not permissible solely for reasons of distributing social burdens. Integration policy reasons should also be taken into account, such as whether such a move makes sense in terms of integration into society. Lack of living space should be taken into account and adequate living space should be ensured.

Cargnelli-Weichselbaum: “Of course it's about professional integration and offering language courses.” This problem is clearly seen in Germany: “If you create such a regulation, of course there must be an appropriate infrastructure to implement all these measures, these measures are necessary from a coordination policy perspective.”

Only Vienna fulfills the quota

The background to the debate is that most federal states do not observe entry quotas. According to the latest figures, Vienna accepts twice as many people as that. Vorarlberg meets its quota at 98 percent, Burgenland and Styria at 86 and 83 percent respectively. Upper Austria, Salzburg and Carinthia only meet the specified quota at 60, 58 and 51 percent respectively.

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Quota distribution has been somewhat distorted since the Russian occupation of Ukraine. Ukrainian refugees can move freely and are not assigned to any federal state. This is a factor because more than half of those in primary care are from Ukraine.

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