The introduction of the so-called ANKER centres (arrival – decision – repatriation) was initiated in 2018 with the so-called “Master Plan for Migration” of the Federal Government. The then Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer thus turned the transit centres and special camps that had existed in Bavaria since 2015 into the “export hits” for asylum and integration policy at federal level.
These special camps have been responsible in Ingolstadt, Bamberg and Regensburg for the asylum procedures of persons from “safe countries of origin” and later also for persons with a so-called bad perspective of staying since 2015.
From August 2018 onwards the initial reception facilities and the existing special camps became ANKER facilities: ANKER centres and their respective branches. Since then all newly registered asylum seekers in Bavaria are assigned to an ANKER centre. At present, around 9,000 people have to live in the Bavarian ANKER centres. Nationwide, there are merely facilities in Saxony and Saarland that bear this designation. All other federal states have not yet followed this plan to open so-called ANKER centres with reference to structurally comparable initial reception facilities.
There are currently seven ANKER centres in Bavaria – one for each administrative district. These are extended by a total of 21 branches:
München Am Moosfeld
|Nürnberg Beuthener Straße
(Kempten ab 2020)
The “bundling of competences” on site pledged by the so-called “Master Plan for Migration”, which is intended to guarantee a fast and smooth asylum procedure, is managed absurdly by the individual branches because all authorities relevant to asylum procedures, such as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), immigration authorities, legal application offices of the courts and social services are only present in the seven ANKER centres, but not on site in the branches.
The management of the administrative districts with regard to the ANKER centres, as well as the practices in the individual camps themselves, varies greatly. The announced speeding up of asylum procedures is generally not observed, because the duration of the court proceedings has not been shortened. At the same time, it can be assumed that the Federal Office’s decisions will be of poorer quality – not least because of the BAMF’s excessively rapid hearings, as well as the difficulties in accessing counselling services, specialist medical certificates and voluntary support.
So far ANKER centres have no legal basis. In the so-called “Master Plan for Migration” political guidelines are formulated, such as a stay of up to 18 months, but there was no legal equivalent for this in § 44-54 AsylG, which regulates the first reception of asylum seekers. The application of these purely political declarations is to be regarded as unlawful. The reasons for why these policies were being pursued outside of the rule of law were justified by the Federal Ministry of the Interior with a 12 to 18-month pilot phase. In a subsequent evaluation, the concrete necessity for legal change was then to be determined. On 7 June 2019 as part of the vote on the so-called “Act on Orderly Return” the legal amendment for the duration of accommodation of 18 months was adopted without the pledged evaluation having been carried out.