The rule of law is breaking down in Europe. No, we are not speaking of one of the usual suspects (Hungary, Poland, or Greece), but of Germany, until now thought to be a beacon of order and stability. This appears to have changed as a result of the Migration Crisis.
As several media report, representatives of the police and the state prosecutor’s office in the city of Kiel, capital of the region of Schleswig-Holstein, have concluded a secret agreement according which small thefts, the vandalization of public property, and other “minor offences” will not be prosecuted if they are committed by asylum seekers, including persons with no valid documents.
For all practical purposes this means that asylum seekers without documents have a license to steal, and German citizens should not expect the police and judiciary will come to their help. The reason given for this agreement, which is completely unheard of in a country claiming to respect the rule of law, is that the practical obstacles and procedural requirements for prosecuting minor offences are too high to overcome, and that police and judiciary have scarce resources, so that they must focus on priority tasks.
Without doubt, this is a situation that cannot be described otherwise than as a “systemic failure” with regard to the rule of law, which according to Article 2 TEU is a core EU value.
German citizens are now desperately waiting for Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Europe’s rule-of-law Sheriff, to deal with the situation as a matter of urgency…