Many Ukrainians are currently traveling back to their homeland – despite the ongoing war. Does the government see this as a turning point towards the permanent return of many people?

According to estimates by the federal government, many Ukrainian refugees will remain in Germany for the time being even after the war is over. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (both SPD) made this clear when they visited a facility for refugees in Berlin.

Berlin’s Senator for Social Affairs, Katja Kipping (left), also believes that the number of Ukrainian war refugees in the capital may increase again.

At the moment, the number of arrivals in Berlin has dropped a bit to 500 a day, “but we have to expect a sudden increase at any time,” said Kipping. “It depends on how the war develops.”

It also depends on developments in other host countries such as Poland. “So if, for example, the Polish government significantly reduces social benefits, this can lead to a dynamic that, for example, the numbers go up again at the beginning of July.”

Faeser, on the other hand, said: “I don’t think we will have a sudden increase in our neighboring countries.” For example, Poland grants Ukrainians full access to the labor market and social security systems.

However, Faeser also pointed out that the development of the war was unpredictable. More than 850,000 refugees from Ukraine have now registered in Germany. Many of them have probably returned to their homeland in the meantime.

According to Heils, the integration of refugees in Germany is taking place “in big steps”. Setting the course accordingly is sensible. “Even if the war soon comes to a standstill and there is a ceasefire, the destruction will be so severe that it is not realistic for many people to return in a short time,” said Heil. “That’s why we in Germany will need generosity longer.”