We create safe harbours.

Make your city a safe harbour!

Since the formation of the movement SEEBRÜCKE in July 2018, more than 50 cities, municipalities and communes declared themselves to be in solidarity. They stand against the European isolationist policy, and promise to facilitate more refugees a safe arrival. This means they fulfil at least one of the demands of SEEBRÜCKE, which you can find below:

Demands of “The SEEBRÜCKE”

The Seebrücke initiative commits to finding a safe harbour for those who have been forced to flee their home. I firmly believe that where federal politics fails to fulfil its responsibility, local politics must take action.

The SEEBRÜCKE therefore calls upon our cities and municipalities to declare themselves safe harbours.

In order to be a safe harbour a city or municipality needs to do the following:

Public declaration of solidarity

1. Declare themselves in solidarity with displaced persons and with the objectives of the Seebrücke initiative.

Active support for maritime rescue

2. Take a public stance against the criminalisation of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and actively support these, as well as providing either full or part sponsorship and financial support for a civilian rescue boat.

Admitting more than the quota

3. Ensure rapid and uncomplicated admission and accommodation of people rescued from distress at sea above and beyond the distribution quota for asylum seekers:

•The city or county declares themselves willing to directly receive and accommodate people rescued from distress at sea, for example by a civilian maritime rescue boat, in a way similar to a relocation programme. This admission is in addition to the distribution quota for asylum seekers. An agreement with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the respective federal state is to be established on this matter.

Supporting admission programmes

4. Lobby the respective federal state and the Federal Government to establish new programmes for the legal admission of refugees and/or significantly expand existing programmes, and offer additional places in the city or county in support of this:

  • The city or county calls upon the government of their respective federal state to introduce an independent humanitarian admission scheme for refugees as per section 23(1) of the Residence Act (AufenthG) and thus enable refugees to legally enter Germany and remain in the country.
  • The City or county also calls upon the federal state government and the Federal Government to agree to permanently and reliably higher admission quotas than have previously been in place, within the scope of resettlement as per section 23(4) of the Residence Act and other programmes for the legal admission of refugees. This is the only way Germany can meet its responsibility to prevent people being forced to flee using illegal and dangerous channels.
  • The city or county declares to the federal state and the Federal Government that they are willing to reliably provide additional places for those arriving in these programmes.
  • In addition, the cities and counties throughout the state advocate the removal of sentence 3 of section 23(1) of the Residence Act, which would dispense with the need for the approval of the Federal Ministry of the Interior when admitting refugees.
  • The city or county calls for the introduction of an independent rule for admissions by local authorities in accordance with section 23(1) of the Residence Act enabling independent admission by the federal states.

Making sure people settle in to the community

5. Ensure people settle in well to the community, by providing all resources necessary for humane care, in particular in the areas of housing, medical care and education.

National and European networking

6. Actively commit to the implementation of the above points at regional, national and European level.

Safe harbour alliance

7. Get involved in establishing an alliance of all safe harbours in Europe in order to actively shape European migration policy in a way that respects human rights.


8. Make public all action undertaken to establish the city or county as a safe harbour.

These cities declared themselves to be a safe harbour in Germany.

59 Sichere Häfen in Deutschland