Nevertheless, support for the aims of these groups within the German electorate remains low, and when in charge of government, both CDU and SPD have tended to favor improved relations with Central and Eastern Europe even when this conflicted with the interests of the displaced. The issue of the Eastern border of Germany, and of return of the Heimatvertriebene to their ancestral homes is an issue which the current German government considers closed.
However, with the enlargement of the European Union, the organisations of expellees have gained new hopes of recognition of private German property rights in former German territories in present-day Poland and the Czech Republic. They have insisted that Poland and the Czech Republic must respect human rights and also compensate German victims before being allowed to become members of the European Union. Also the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in 2002 in the European Parliament that the Czech Republic and Slovakia should repeal the Benes decrees before being allowed into the European Union. The claim was supported by the Bavarian government. In 2003, Liechtenstein refused to sign the enlargement of the Common European Economic Space, because the Czech Republic did not withdraw the Benes decrees and compensate the royal family of Liectenstein for their property in Bohemia, which was confiscated after the war.
The claims were unanimously rejected by the affected countries but they are source of growing mistrust between Germany and Poland and Czech Republics. While Expellees recall their property and speak of human rights, Poles remind that they were never compensated for alleged damages caused by German government during WW2. Accoring to some, the Polish government didn't enact the German expulsion and border shift, but it was ordered by the Potsdam conference. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the majority of the current Polish population in the former Eastern Germany are expellees (or descendants of expellees) themselves - they were moved from territories annexed by USSR and left their homes and property behind too. However, if German expellees have miniscule chance of regaining their property, Polish ones have no such prospect whatsoever.
The Federation of Expellees have also initiated the formation of the Center Against Forced Migration (Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen), which the German parliament has decided to erect in Berlin. The representatives of the center is Erika Steinbach and Prof. Dr. Peter Glotz.
Recently, the federation sued the German journalist Gabriele Lesser for alleged defamations. The questioned article was published September 19, 2003, in the daily Kieler Nachrichten.