Almost every fifth inhabitant and every third child of preschool age in Germany have a migrant background. Many of these migrants are said to be well integrated, they take part in social life and are successful within education and job. Others have not catched up with the society, they have language deficits, a low education level and little promotion prospects. These people often live in socially depressed urban districts. The share of migrants here is 40, 50 or even 60 per cent. Actually up to 80 per cent of children and adolescents in the schools of these districts have a migrant background.
Integration measures have to be implemented on the ground in order to reach the persons concerned and to support people of different countries and locals in living together. The success of local integration is ensured by the coaction of integration and urban development policy. The National Integration Plan adopted in July 2007 has put the integration policy in Germany on a new basis. For the first time, all national levels - the Federal Government, the federal states and local authorities - have agreed upon a joint plan for a sustainable integration policy based on a dialogue with the most important stakeholders of the civil society and migrants. The National Integration Plan has gained binding force through 400 negotiated agreements and measures in the fields of education and training, culture, sports, media and civic commitment carried out by all parties involved in their related areas of resonsibility. The 150 negotiated agreements of the Federation were enacted by a cabinet decision of 11 July 2007.
The social-area related dimension of the integration requirements is reflected in the National Integration Plan by the topic “Integration on the ground”. It describes strategies for depressed urban districts with high shares of migrants which are to promote integration. Such strategies involve local integration concepts, enhancing housing, residential environments and public spaces, qualifying schools, education and training measures and strengthening the local economy. Important instruments to strengthen depressed districts are provided by “Social City”, a funding programme of the Federation and the federal states, and by the European Social Fund (ESF) programmes. In order to check the progress of integration, the Federal Government Commissioner for Integration in 2009 submitted the first “Integration Indicator Report”. The Report highlights state and process of the integration of migrants and is regularly updated.
EUKN National Focal Point Germany
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