“Migrant policy and integration as a challenge for the German Public Administration” – Prof. Dr. Oliver Sievering

From an economic point of view, Germany is in a good situation – currently. The growth rates of GDP (gross domestic product) are moderate but positive. Many EU countries have higher growth rates. Spain currently has also higher growth rates than Germany. (In 2016: Spain: 3.2 % – Germany: 1.9 %). But Germany has overcome the global economic crisis very quickly, while Spain had a very long period of recession.

Germany is in a very good financial situation. In 2016, Germany achieved a budget surplus of 23.7 billion euros. Only Luxembourg had a higher surplus, measured by GDP. However, the total debt is not particularly low. As a result of reunification, Germany had to absorb new debts in order to finance the reconstruction of the East German federal states. The East German economy could not compete with Western European companies. Many companies went bankrupt. The unemployment rate rose to over 20% in eastern Germany. In the past 10 years, the number of unemployed in Germany has fallen very sharply. According to the ILO (International Labour Organisation), the unemployment rate is 4%. The main reason for the low unemployment rate is the very low birth rate in Germany. In the next few years, many older workers will retire but only a few young people are coming on the labour market, especially in East Germany. Only taking the demographic effect, the labour market will be relieved by 300,000 people in 2015. This figure will rise in the coming years. Economists agree that Germany need immigrants.

But according to a survey (Bertelsmann Stiftung and Zentrum für europäische Wirtschaftsforschung), two-thirds of the Germans are convinced that immigration means a burden on social systems. The basis for this skepticism is the (social- and work) structure of foreigners living in Germany today. It is obvious that (a lot of) foreigners have not yet been fully integrated economically, because they have:Read More »