Germany: Integration of Immigrants to the German Society

Integration of immigrants to the German society

In order to analyse main positions of the parties to the issue no. 2, it is helpful to build up three policies in order to follow the differences between SDP (and partly Die Grünen, Die Linke and FDP) as a support and CDU/CSU as a rejection for this issue:

  1. the attitude to dual citizenship,
  2. dealing with refugees and
  3. integration of immigrants.

Attitude to dual citizenship

SPD, Die Grünen, FDP and DIE LINKE want to abolish the option of obligation and generally allow the multiple nationalities, as well as a timely unlimited right of residence for tolerated.

Dealing with refugees

The main opinion of German parties is to show more solidarity with refugees. In  case of Syria,  SPD, Die Grünen, FDP and DIE LINKE  promote more open policy for refugees and  higher admission of refugees.

Integration of immigrants

All parties promote a deeper integration of immigrants into the German society. For CDU. the integration into the labour market and the initiative of one’s own, is the most important. The former Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, called 2010 for more openness and support of the German society concerning the issue of immigrants.1 Therfore the Bavarian Minister of Social Affairs expects more proactive immigrants especially in terms of language and culture. The SPD, Die Grünen and DIE LINKE support furthermore real equality of opportunities in education, employment and cultural self-identification of immigrants. SPD and FDP also want to expand the opportunities for integration and higher tolerance of asylum seekers.

Attitude to dual citizenship

CDU/CSU rejects the regular acceptance of multiple nationalities, because they want to support and underline the unifying aspect of a common nationality.

Dealing with refuges

CDU und CSU denied broader and secure access of refugees to Europe. Furthermore, there is a strong variation among  different German Federal States (Bundesländer) and political parties in Germany concerning the approach to the refugees. For instance,   Lorenz Caffier, the spokeperson of the German Minister of the Interior,  Mecklenburg Vorpommern,   mentioned that Minister is against further reception of refugees in Mecklenburg Vorpommern in 2013, even though  there are still capacities available.2
In addition to this, the discussion on the European Freedom of Labour Movement for Romanian and Bulgarian labor workers and the misuse of social services of the new labor workers in Germany started in fall of 2013. The initiator of the discussion was the political party CSU. Furthermore,  they called on their New Year’s meeting in Wildbad Kreuth for stricter rules: “We stand for freedom of movement within the EU. Immigration into our social security systems, we reject. The continued abuse of European freedom of movement by poverty immigration endangers not only the acceptance of free movement among the citizens, but also brings communities to the limits of their financial capacities."3 The rejection of other political parties was closed against the CSU. The deputy head of the CDU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, Andreas Schockhoff, argued, that the new labor workers from Romania and Bulgaria are an enrichment for the German labor market. The Integration Commissioner of the Federal Government, Aydan Özoguz (SPD), required effective help instead of populism. Also, the Green Party leader Simone Peter (Die Grünen) and the leader of DIE LINKE, Bern Rixinger, cautioned against to strengthen the stirring up fears of immigration right-wing parties.


1 Spiegel Online, 20.09.2010, Online: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/integration-de-maiziere-fordert-mehr-offenheit-gegenueber-migranten-a-718347.html

2 Focus Online, 20.08.2013, Online: http://www.focus.de/regional/rostock/fluechtlinge-cdu-innenminister-gegen-aufnahmeprogramme-fuer-syrische-fluechtlinge_aid_1076487.html

3 „Wir stehen zur Freizügigkeit in der EU. Eine Zuwanderung in unsere sozialen Sicherungssysteme lehnen wir jedoch ab. Der fortgesetzte Missbrauch der europäischen Freizügigkeit durch Armutszuwanderung gefährdet nicht nur die Akzeptanz der Freizügigkeit bei den Bürgern, sondern bringt auch Kommunen an die Grenzen ihrer finanziellen Leistungsfähigkeit." (ARD Nachrichten, 28.12.13, Online: http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/migration114.html)