Germany’s Doors Are ‘Open To The World’s Talent’

In its 2015 annual report, the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) assesses Germany’s transformation to a modern immigration country.

sky and sign that reads , welcome to Germany

Welcome to Germany

In its sixth annual report, the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) says Germany has developed “progressive immigration tools for third-country citizens.”

Germany has not only caught up with advanced immigration countries like Canada, Sweden or the US – Germany has meanwhile “joined their ranks.”

The SVR report compares Germany’s migration and integration policies with those of select EU and traditional immigration countries.

The analysis shows that “Germany has become one of the pioneers of modern migration policy in its labor migration policy.”

Ranked among ‘model pupils’

Today, the SVR report states, Germany can “easily keep up with” Canadian immigration regulations, which are generally regarded as exemplary. “Germany is – at least in a legal and institutional sense – well-placed in the global competition to attract ‘the best people’.”

The council spotlights eased regulations for the immigration of highly skilled and highly qualified workers.

But despite the overall positive assessment, the council points out deficits, too: German migration policies are not common knowledge, the “new measures need to be made public.”

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Refugees also have a long bureaucratic way ahead of them

Tell the world

Getting the word out that Germany is in fact a country of immigration is of utmost importance, says SVR chairwoman Christine Langenfeld.

At the same time, it’s just as important to make it clear to Germans that migration is the country’s foremost task for the future, she told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday at the report’s presentation.

Christine Langenfeld

Christine Langenfeld: “We are better than we think”

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, which includes seven member foundations, not only informs on social and political developments in the fields of integration and migration – the SVR also gives policy recommendations.

And according to the 2015 report, there is “still no discernable ‘common thread'” connecting integration and migration-related measures. “Coordinated migration and integration policies” need to be implemented, the SVR experts argue, suggesting that these should start at German embassies abroad and end in local communities.

Large-scale reform

With regard to asylum processes and the enormous problems the EU currently faces in dealing with a flood of refugees, the SVR council argues in favor of keeping in place the controversial Dublin principle under which the country of first entry is responsible for the asylum process, housing and, if necessary, deportation.

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A modern immigration country needs “modern citizenship laws”

But in addition, the migration experts suggest giving refugees who have been granted asylum free choice of moving to another EU country. This, the report says, would give them access to the labor market and thus the option of making a living.

The overburdened EU border states should receive financial and logistical help, because they currently shoulder a huge part of what is a pan-European duty, the study says.

Concerning the mass exodus of Syrians from their war-torn native country, the SVR demands the immediate implementation of a collective EU reception approach in addition to individual asylum procedures.

The study also urges considering mobility partnerships for circular migration and tackling the root causes of why people flee their countries in the first place. “That could spare a lot of people the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean,” the SVR study concludes.

– DW

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