Against exclusion and criminalisation of EU citizens – existence-ensuring social benefits for all who live here!

EU citizens without a German passport are increasingly excluded from their social rights. In emergency situations they are very often not entitled to existence-ensuring social benefits. This exclusion promotes impoverishment, homelessness and precarious working conditions. The reaction of the state as well as on a municipal level to face this growing poverty and tightened exploitation goes more and more in a direction of control and security enforcement instead of helpful social politics. Currently, we can see the progress continue as follows:

1) Exclusion from social rights
With a new draft law, the federal ministry of finance wants to restrict the right to child benefit, e.g. for EU citizens who do not have a job. This hits especially those who depend most on that support, such as single mothers, and leads to child poverty.

2) Eviction from the public space
Recently more and more homeless people get evicted from the public space of many cities. The draft law additionally makes it possible to banish groups of people from the public space and even punish them by a fine, when there is the impression, that they are offering their labour. This politics of eviction fights destitute people themselves instead of the source of their poor conditions. Above all it can be engrossed easily by racist and antiziganist agitation.

3) General suspicion
The federal agency of work puts EU citizens who apply for social benefits under the general suspicion of benefit abuse. A working paper from April 2018 suggests a special handling of such EU citizens. It aims especially at citizens from Bulgaria and Romania and thereby reproduces antiziganist stereotypes. EU-citizens have to prove their claim with particularly many documents, shall be controlled more strictly and be assigned to more activities than other people (so-called Maßnahme). The paper calls on jobcenter employees to treat applicants rather like suspects but not like legal entities.

4) From social politics to regulatory politics
The working paper as well as the new draft law aim to trace benefit abuse instead of focusing on the ensuring of existence. In a similar way, compentences of the customs shall be extended far beyond its confines in order to fight illegalized labour.

These processes in social and security politics threaten to push even more people into precarious working and living conditions. Their social consequences will be disastrous. Furthermore, we point out that these regulations are illegal in most instances. We demand the withdrawal of the draft law and the working paper as well as a turnaround in social politics: Everybody who lives in Germany shall have the right to receive existence-ensuring benefits. Instead of doing the work of the foreigners office and other regulatory agencies, the social agencies shall support the applicants in their claim for social rights, guarantee their ensuring of existence and thereby protect them from over-exploitation.

Netzwerk „Europa in Bewegung“ (ALSO, BASTA Berlin, Initiative Zivilcourage / Gruppe workers‘ center München, Oficina precaria Berlín)


Initial signees

ALSO – Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg e. V.
Amaro Foro e. V.
BASTA! Erwerbsloseninitiative Berlin
Berlin Migrant Strikers
GGUA – Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft zur Unterstützung Asylsuchender e. V.
Initiative Zivilcourage / Gruppe worker’s center – München
Lutz Achenbach – Rechtsanwalt
Oficina Precaria Berlín

Further signees

AGAB – Aktionsgemeinschaft arbeitsloser Bürger in Bremen e. V.
Andrea Günther
Andrea Hniopek
Anne Eberle, Dortmund (DIE LINKE)
antira_muc, München
Antje Klinger
Arbeitskreis kritische Soziale Arbeit, Freiburg
Attac AG “genug für alle”
Ayna Steigerwald
Birgit Sacher
Bochum-Prekär – Norbert Hermann
Carmen Glink
Carola Liebig
Christian Katz
Christian Köning (Jusos München)
Clemens Hermeler
Christoph Huylmans, Rechtsanwalt
Daniel Weißbrodt
Dominik Kladt
Elfriede Harth
Elisabeth Dörre
Eric Manneschmidt
Frankfurter Arbeitslosenzentrum
Frostschutzengel 2.0
Förderverein Roma e.V.
Fürther Sozialforum
Gabriele Schmidt
Hannah Schultes
Heinz Pawliczek
Helga Röller
Holger Mandel
Human Aid Collective
Inge Hannemann
Initiative Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen Frankfurt Rhein-Main
Joachim Krauß
Johanna Voß
Julia Mittermüller
Juliane Nagel (DIE LINKE)
Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie e.V.
kritnet – Netzwerk kritische Migrations- und Grenzregimeforschung
LAG Grundeinkommen Brandenburg, Ringo Jünigk
LAG Grundeinkommen NRW, Michaela Kerstan
LOS ! Offenbach solidarisch
LabourNet Germany
Malte Kleinschmidt
Manfred Pawlowski
Marina Mühlbauer
Markus Ostermair
Miriam Worek
Neda Deneva
Nely Konstantinova
Netzwerkrat, Netzwerk Grundeinkommen
Niklas Haupt (DIE LINKE)
NoBorder ffm
Ökumenisches Arbeitslosenzentrum Krefeld-Meerbusch e.V.
people4people e.V.
Petja Dimitrova
Polina Manolova
Ralf Peter Engelke
Regine Deutsch (Diem25)
Regionalverbund der Erwerbsloseninitiativen Weser-Ems e.V.
Ronald Blaschke
Ronja Oltmanns
Rumänisch in Berlin e.V.
Sebastian Meyer
Seminar für angewandte Unsicherheit
Solidarität City Berlin
Sozial und Schuldnerberatung
Stefan Hartmann, Berlin
Stephan Bosch
Stephan Nagel
TRIA – Aufsuchende mehrsprachige Beratung
Tanja Oster
Thomas Elstner
Thomas Höhne
Ursula Mathern
Volker Gerloff
Werner Moritz
Willy Voigt

You can sign this statement here.