Migration: Ministerial Conference: Integration is becoming increasingly important

Migration: Ministerial Conference: Integration is becoming increasingly important

Once a year, the integration ministers of the states meet for their main conference, this time in the presiding state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. A signal against racism should also come from there.

From the perspective of the federal states, the advisory services for migrants play a central role in the integration of immigrants. Starting over in another country is often associated with very complex questions.

“This year, despite the recent increase, there are still fewer federal funds available for the offers than last year,” criticized Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Social Minister Stefanie Drese (SPD) at the end of a two-day integration ministers’ conference in the Baltic Sea resort of Warnemünde. The federal government must ensure adequate financing.

Bavaria does not agree to the main proposal

The conference passed a ten-page key motion entitled “Growing together”, which Bavaria was the only federal state not to agree to. The statements in the application to reform nationality law contradict the fundamental political convictions of the Bavarian government, it was stated in a note in the minutes. The law to modernize nationality law should be seen as a step backwards instead of a modernization. This means that the emergence of parallel societies is not only accepted, but actually encouraged.

In addition, general statements about alleged existing structural and institutional discrimination against people with a migration background are rejected. At the same time, we expressly welcome the statements contained in the lead motion on the current social demonstrations for the preservation of the free democratic basic order, against right-wing extremism and racism. The strong commitment to Israel and the protection of Jews living in Germany against anti-Semitism is also clearly supported.

Praise for “historic reform” of nationality law

In the ten-page lead motion “Growing together” one paragraph welcomes the “historic reform” of nationality law passed this year. With the accelerated naturalization after five instead of eight years and the general possibility of multiple nationality when naturalizing, long-standing demands of the Integration Ministers’ Conference have become legally binding.

Drese emphasized that in recent months signs of exclusion, devaluation, racism and anti-Semitism have unsettled many people in Germany. Fears were also stirred up from certain quarters. The conference, on the other hand, sends a clear signal that stands for integration, diversity and participation. The upper limit of a maximum of 100,000 refugees per year that was discussed by the CDU was not an issue.

In 2023, almost 330,000 initial applications for asylum

Germany has been a country of immigration for many years and has become more diverse through immigration, Drese continued. Around one in four people in Germany has a migration background. “That’s why integration is becoming increasingly important,” said Drese, who will hand over the chairmanship to Lower Saxony on July 1st.

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), 329,120 people applied for asylum for the first time in Germany in 2023 – most of them came from Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan. That was around 50 percent more initial applications than in 2022. As a result of the Russian war of aggression that began two years ago, there are currently around 1.14 million refugees from Ukraine living in this country who do not have to apply for asylum. In January the number of new applications fell compared to the same month last year. With 26,376 initial applications, it was 9.3 percent below the value in January 2023, but 14.6 percent above that in December 2023. The numbers also fell sharply in February.

Source: Stern

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