Welcome and recognition culture
Firstly, the term welcoming culture describes a positive attitude towards migrants by citizens, politicians, companies, educational institutions, sports clubs and other institutions . Second, the term expresses the wish that migrants should be welcome to all people they meet. Thirdly, the word welcoming culture denotes the totality of all measures by which a positive attitude towards migrants is to be promoted in others and the feeling of migrants that they are welcome is to be given a basis in reality.
Whether and to what extent someone who uses the term welcoming culture also wants to express appreciation for people who have been in the host country for a long time or were born here as people with a migration background (the term "migrant" refers to people who personally Have left their home country) must be examined on a case-by-case basis. Recently, the term welcoming and recognition culture has also been used for better understanding , which clearly includes people with a longer stay.
Some considerations on the topic of welcoming culture deal with the recruitment of new citizens of all kinds in a region, including new citizens from neighboring regions and from other parts of the country, including people without a migration background. The term “ welcoming culture ” is expanded further when it is applied to people who have not previously felt welcome on the job market and who belong to the silent reserve , or to people who are to be recruited for voluntary work .
The word welcome culture was voted “ Word of the Year ” in December 2015 in Austria .
Origin and further development of the term
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) defined the term in the final report Runder “Hosting Society” as follows: “Welcome new immigrants and accept them into society based on attractive framework conditions. The welcome culture is aimed at all legal new immigrants. "
The BAMF understands the culture of recognition as “the recognition of all people with a migration background living in Germany by the host society, whereby the focus is on the appreciation of potential”.
The term “recognition” found its way into the social-philosophical debate in the 1990s. The starting point for this debate was the observation that political demands in the new social movements (of feminism , of ethnic minorities , of homosexual or lesbian subcultures, etc.) were no longer primarily aimed at economic equality or material redistribution, but rather aimed at respecting those characteristics through which they feel culturally connected. In relation to a migration policy context, this means that recognition, beyond the socio-structural integration of immigrants , aims to respect immigrants in their cultural differences and to appreciate the contribution of this culture to shaping the community.
The concept of "recognition" has meanwhile also been interpreted in reverse as recognition of the laws and values of the host country by the guests. Thomas de Maizière declared in the Bundestag in autumn 2015: "If we talk to our citizens about a welcoming culture, we must also demand a culture of recognition from those who come to us". This includes accepting the legal system and values and giving the authorities the right name and the country of origin.
A culture of recognition also includes making it clear that immigrants who previously immigrated also belong to the group that welcomes new immigrants. According to the BAMF, the welcoming host society should be described as a “multicultural host society”.
The German Federal Ministry of the Interior explains on its website: “Against the background of demographic change and an emerging shortage of skilled workers, it is important to make Germany an attractive 'place to live' for people with a migration background in the long term. The Federal Government takes this challenge very seriously. Therefore, strengthening the culture of welcome and recognition is an important project of the coalition agreement for the 18th legislative period. "
Political debate during the refugee crisis from 2015
The Greens rejected at their national convention in Halle in November 2015 from ceilings and demanded billions in investments for the integration of refugees. The AfD did better (13.2 percent of the votes cast) in the local elections in Hesse on March 6, 2016 than the Greens (11.6 percent), who lost 6.7 percentage points compared to 2011, more than any other Political party. In the state elections in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt on March 13, 2016, the AfD also did significantly better than the Greens, who barely passed the five percent threshold in both countries .
From the result of the state elections in March 2016, Sahra Wagenknecht , opposition leader in the 18th German Bundestag, draws the conclusion that the poor performance of the left in these elections was primarily due to the fact that many supporters of the left believed that the party assessed refugees too positively and neglect the interests of precarious Germans.
Religious and Moral Commandments
One of the 5 pillars of Islam is the zakāt , the obligation to donate 2.5% of the property to certain groups of people.
“The alms ( aṣ-ṣadaqāt ) are for the poor ( li-l-fuqarāʾ ), the needy ( wa-l-masākīn ), those who care for them ( wa-l-ʿāmilīn ʿalai-hā ), and the whose hearts are to be won ( wa-l-muʾallafati qulūbu-hum ), for the slaves ( fī r-riqāb ) and debtors ( wa-l-ġārimīn ), for the way of God and the Son of the way ( wa-bni sabīl ), as an obligation on the part of God. God is knowing and wise. "
According to the Bertelsmann Religionsmonitor, 44% of regularly practicing Muslims became financially and personally committed to helping refugees in the context of the refugee crisis in Germany from 2015 . Your contribution is considered particularly important. Since 3/4 of the refugees are of Muslim faith, the Muslims living in Germany can be regarded as specialists in matters of cultural origin and pastoral care.
The churches in Europe strive for a coordinated response to the refugee crisis and stand up for the protection of the dignity of every human being. From both the Catholic and the Protestant side, the churches in Germany see themselves as playing a central role with regard to the integration of refugees and the welcoming culture. Critics, on the other hand, see the churches as the “last representative of an unlimited culture of welcome” and criticize the fact that the church represents an “excessive moralism” in this regard. Evangelical and Catholic churches in Germany grant church asylum to people who are deported from Germany because of a lack of residence status threatens. The following two passages from the Bible are usually cited as justification for this practice:
- If a stranger lives with you in your country, you should not oppress him. The stranger who stays with you should be regarded as a native to you, and you should love him as yourself; for you yourself were strangers in Egypt. I am the Lord, your God. (Leviticus 19: 33f.)
- Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and homeless and you took me in; I was naked and you gave me clothes; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me. […] What you did to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me. ”(Matthew 25: 35-40)
With the regularly practicing Christians, the financial and personal commitment to refugees lagged well behind the other voluntary commitment.
In December 2011, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned that politicians and civil society (Germany) were "called upon to actively establish a culture of welcome and thus sensitize the population to the special emergency situation of refugees."
Idea of a "world citizenship"
Seyla Benhabib , a professor of political science and philosophy at Yale University in the United States, predicted in 2008 that cross-border migration could increase by 40 percent by 2048, according to UN figures. Millions of people who, for example, settle as refugees in previously unknown countries need a clear legal status that gives them political affiliation as legal subjects. The goal of global justice implies the right to belong as a human right. Not having papers is a form of civil death in Western societies. Therefore, in the tradition of Immanuel Kant, there must be a "global citizenship" in which hospitality is a key motif, as the "right of a stranger to not be treated with hostility because of his arrival on the ground of someone else". Only when, in the sense of global hospitality, the right to seek asylum and the duty to grant asylum, are understood as the two self-evident parts of a global civil right, can one speak of international equity. The national borders, so Benhabib, would have to be "conditionally permeable". In terms of a culture of recognition, there must be access to citizenship of every country that is subject to minimal conditions and is open to everyone.
Some political activists deny that there is a justification for the fact that according to Art. 11 GG freedom of movement is only a civil right . Above all, the movement “ Nobody is illegal ” takes the view that even people without a residence permit (called “illegals” by the movement) must be allowed to live in the country of their choice. In October 2010 in Berlin a “welcome campaign with music, information, performance” took place in front of the Lageso under the motto: “No one is illegal. All people have the right to freely choose where they live and where they live ”instead. In 2012 the Green Youth Berlin condemned the " ethnocentric and racist idea that only certain people are allowed to live in Germany."
Usefulness for economics
The necessity of a "welcoming culture" is justified primarily with a shortage of skilled workers in Germany. Highly qualified workers in particular are urgently needed in Germany. Foreigners who are willing to work in Germany should therefore be shown a high degree of appreciation. This approach can also be seen in the coalition agreement for the 18th legislative period of the German Bundestag, which the governing parties CDU, CSU and SPD agreed on December 14, 2013. Under the heading “Securing skilled workers” you can read: “In addition, we want to improve the welcome and stay culture for foreign skilled workers in Germany.” “A welcome culture for immigrants and the promotion of cultural diversity and internationality is now not only a soft location factor, but This is a prerequisite for attracting investors and [highly] qualified people who are globally oriented, ”says Gari Pavkovic, Head of the Integration Policy Department of the City of Stuttgart .
The political scientist Roland Roth , because of the strong emphasis on economic aspects in the arguments of many proponents of a welcoming culture, has the impression that the "welcome" in the term "welcoming culture" is tied to conditions, to "considerations of usefulness and to calculations" and has nothing to do with " with general hospitality [...] or a welcome for everyone and everyone. "For those who wanted to recruit highly qualified specialists from abroad, according to Gerd Brendel," [p] political refugees, refugees from poverty and civil war [...] are the big ones Rest of the 'unwelcome' ”.
Jasper von Altenbockum confirmed this impression in January 2016: The core of the welcoming culture is that those who “have qualified workers to offer are motivated and see themselves as service providers [...] can [...] try their luck here, without being bureaucratic The “indiscriminate invitation to refugees, asylum seekers and all migrants […] who entered Germany illegally”, had nothing to do with this idea. Politicians have to recognize: "Integration begins with permission to enter."
10 theses by Klaus Jürgen Bade
Klaus Jürgen Bade sees the welcome culture as an important change of track in political and public discourse. Beyond the tried and tested communicative welcome technology, he sees the welcome culture as a socio-political concept as a mere cloudy orientation framework with considerable need for improvement and additions.
- Welcome culture is a top-down elite concept. Bottom-up, however, is growing fear of culture and foreigners, which can be embellished but not absorbed by the welcome culture.
- The welcome culture is an economically motivated support program for qualified immigration.
- Welcome culture usually does not go beyond welcome technology with integration aids for welcome newcomers.
- Political staging of welcome culture also has an indirect group-related selection function.
- The welcoming culture for new immigrants ignores the immigrant population that has been living in Germany for several generations.
- You don't change mentality through friendly manners alone. Therefore, a culture of welcome does little to counteract fearful defenses against immigrants.
- Programs for a welcoming culture worked as appellatively formulated socio-technological concepts for integration in advance, but not as a participation-oriented social policy necessary for immigration societies.
- There is a lack of a consensual and inclusive self-image and a vision for a common future that allows the majority and immigrant population to grow together. A welcome culture as an elite concept from above is not sufficient.
- Inadequate participation-oriented social policies for all and a lack of consensual and inclusive self-image in the immigration society can lead to considerable problems in the long term. In the case of immigrants of the second, third or fourth generation, the already widespread and justifiable feeling of insufficient acceptance and opportunities to participate could lead them to withdraw and possibly flee into radicalization . In the majority population, the fear of becoming “strangers in their own country” could trigger tensions that endanger social and cultural peace.
- We should think about the loss of the ability to form collectives and find ways to achieve an inclusive, consensual guiding orientation.
Sympathies and antipathies
The welcoming culture in Germany is considered "expandable". Initiators of campaigns to promote the welcoming culture admit that even skilled workers from abroad are not welcome to all involved. Not only new immigrants, but also many people with a migrant background who have been resident in Germany for a long time do not have the impression of being welcome, especially with offices and authorities.
Limits of Endurance
The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek points out that there is a “pain threshold” (an “impossible à supporter”) in every culture. B. for “Western liberal practices such as forced marriage or the locking up of women, which are part of the lived Islam, are impossible to endure”. To evaluate the presence of people with such practices positively is an imposition even for generally tolerant people. Jasper von Altenbockum sums up this point of view with the words: “There are immigrants who are not welcome.” Von Altenbockum means primarily anti-Semitic Muslims who behave accordingly.
Emigration as a reaction to a (supposedly) lack of recognition
More than 40 percent of emigrants from Germany cite dissatisfaction with life in Germany as a reason for leaving. For Germans with a migration background, a lack of satisfaction is often the main motive for emigrating from Germany.
At a meeting of the German Academic Exchange Service in May 2014, foreign students reported physical (3 percent) and verbal (8 percent) xenophobia; the situation is even more problematic for individual regions of origin. 22 percent have already experienced discrimination in their perception.
The journal Research & Teaching stated in April 2015 that there are “currently no signs of a permanent departure of highly qualified people from Germany”.
Against the background that the number of births per woman in Germany remains low and this can result in permanent problems with regard to the supply of the German labor market with young professionals, measures that increase the acceptance of immigration and of migrants or people with a migration background are for kept important.
The basic idea that at least those workers from abroad should be valued who can be easily integrated and whose qualifications are in high demand is not called into question by the high number of migrants.
Paradigm shift in assessing the usefulness of immigrants
Perspective before the refugee crisis in 2015
Proponents of an increase in immigration (ie adherents of the “utility theory” discussed above) are often countered by the fact that migration leads in many cases to “immigration into the social systems”.
According to an analysis by the Marktwirtschaft Foundation in 2009 , most foreigners in Germany paid fewer taxes than they received in terms of benefits over the course of their lives due to their poor qualifications and wages compared to German employees. The vast majority of immigration to Germany after 1973 (the year when guest workers were stopped from recruiting ), which took place primarily through family reunification, took place in the German social system: although the number of foreigners rose to 7.5 million by the year 2000 the number of employed foreigners (around 2 million) has not increased.
Such a view does not take into account that at the end of the recruitment phase, the foreign population consisted essentially of young, mostly male, employed people who had been recruited. In 1974 the employment rate of the foreign population was 61.5%, that of the Germans only 42.7%. Today, however - due to family reunification and the differentiation of immigration according to the recruitment stop (e.g. labor migration, family reunification, refugees, Jewish quota refugees) - one can speak of a normalization: For Germans as well as foreigners, the employment rate was 49 in 2001 , 1% (Germans) and 50.9% (foreigners), the age and gender structure has also adjusted. The immigration did not take place "into the social systems", but was - to put it simply - an immigration of families to their working spouses.
In 2013 the “Handelsblatt” pointed out that the topos of poorly qualified immigrants no longer applies. The latest generation of immigrants to Germany is on average much better qualified than Germans. The high level of youth unemployment in many countries of the European Union, which also affects many highly qualified people, plays an important role here . In January 2014 Werner Eichhorst, Director for European Labor Market Policy at the “Institute for the Future of Work (IZA)” stated: “There are no signs of immigration into unemployment or poverty. The job seekers who come usually find jobs without displacing local workers. "
According to calculations by the “ Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) ” from 2014 , every foreigner in Germany pays an average of € 3,300 more in taxes and social security contributions per year than he receives in government benefits. The plus per capita has therefore increased by more than half in the past ten years. On average, every person without a German passport transfers 22,300 euros more to the state in their lifetime than they receive in transfers. In total, the welfare state benefits in the order of 147.9 billion euros from the foreigners already living in Germany. According to the ZEW, every citizen could receive fiscal relief of more than 400 euros annually if at least 200,000 immigrants came to Germany per year in the future and 30 percent of them were highly qualified and another 50 percent had medium qualifications. However, in the same study, ZEW also found that children of foreign parents who were born in Germany in 2012 would on balance cost the German state around 44,000 euros more in transfer payments than they pay in taxes and social contributions over their entire life cycle if all of them should not acquire, on average, significantly better qualifications than their parents. But if at least 30 percent of them were to achieve the typical average lifetime income for Germans, then the German economy would not be financially burdened by citizens with a migration background born in 2012.
In April 2015, Der Spiegel reported : “Immigrants are younger than the average of the German population, they help to mitigate the aging effects. More and more often they bring university degrees with them, their level of qualification is rising steadily. […] The vast majority of immigrants, in that order, currently come from Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and Romania - not terribly foreign cultures. Because many migrants come as adults, i.e. do not go to school in Germany, they take the pressure off the education system. Because foreigners pay in on average significantly more taxes and duties than they receive social benefits, they relieve the welfare state. "
Perspective since the refugee crisis from 2015
None of the cited sources take into account the fact that over a million people immigrated to Germany in 2015. In February 2016, the majority of German economics professors expected economic disadvantages from the federal government's refugee policy, according to a survey by the Ifo Institute . A relative majority expected asylum seekers to be more of a disadvantage for the country (40 percent); only 23 percent see more advantages. The vast majority of economists called for better security of the external borders of the Schengen area . At the same time, they warned against closing national borders in the Schengen area even temporarily.
With regard to the future of those who came to Germany in the wake of the refugee crisis in Germany from 2015 , Frank-Jürgen Weise , head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees , predicted in August 2016 that the integration of refugees into the labor market would be tedious and expensive. 70 percent of those who arrived were able to work. Nevertheless, the majority of them will initially fall into the basic security before the Federal Employment Agency can put them into work.
In 2019, the economist and migration researcher Herbert Brücker emphasized that the refugees who have immigrated since 2015 are on average better educated than the population of their countries of origin and the proportion of academics is twice as high. According to Brücker, 74% of the men and 37% of the women of the over 18-year-old refugees have work experience. In April 2019, 36% of immigrants since 2015 were in paid work.
In the balance sheet, the costs for acquiring a second language for people without prior knowledge of the official language (s) of the target country must be taken into account. For a successful integration, the German Teachers' Association considers it necessary that language beginners, of whom there were relatively few among adolescents and young adults after the lowering of the age of immigrant children by 2015, should have at least 800 hours of teaching in German for foreigners by specially qualified students Receive teachers. In addition, scientists have shown that the acquisition of the second language, especially if it starts late, can take five to seven years to master the mother tongue, even under conditions of scholastic support. Only when this level is reached can qualified immigrants (unless they are allowed to communicate in another language) fully exploit their performance potential.
Young people and young adults, especially from the south of the European Union, who want to escape the high youth unemployment rate in their home country through training in Germany are still very welcome in German companies. Such companies and interested young people are supported by the MobiPro-EU funding program.
Addressees of the culture of welcome and recognition
German citizens with a migration background
German citizens with an immigrant background are legally only in all respects ethnic German equivalent German nationals. In particular, all civil rights , including the right to vote, apply to the adults among them . Discrimination against Germans with a migration background on the basis of their ethnic origin is unconstitutional according to Article 3 (3) of the Basic Law. A personnel manager who does not hire an applicant who has a suitable qualification for the job to be filled because of his foreign name or his "foreign" appearance violates the General Equal Treatment Act and can be prosecuted for doing so.
All people with a university entrance qualification acquired in Germany are considered “ Bildungsinländer ”, even if they do not have German citizenship. At universities, the foreigners among those with a higher education are on an equal footing with German citizens with regard to the framework conditions for their studies. Highly qualified people from this group of people pose a problem insofar as many of them prefer to return to their ancestors' country of origin due to an (allegedly) lacking culture of recognition, even though they are needed in the German labor market and hardly cause integration problems. Around 2010 there was a negative net migration among highly qualified people with a migration background in Germany , especially among those with a higher education.
Immigrants from countries of the European Union
In 2013, 707,771 people from member states of the EU immigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of the free movement of workers within the EU, these people in Germany did not need a residence title or a work permit in 2013 . Restrictions on this freedom of movement for Romanians and Bulgarians expired on January 1, 2014.
The main problem of most immigrants from European countries is their inadequate command of the German language. This often also applies to people who have the professional qualifications they are looking for. According to the case law of German courts, however, an employer can require the foreign employee to perform his work in the German language and to work according to work instructions drawn up in German. Employment contracts can be drawn up in German, even if the employee does not speak German. A “welcoming culture” is shown in the willingness and ability of locals to speak English or another language with these people in which both sides can communicate, or in the willingness to call in an interpreter or another person to deal with the Can communicate with immigrants linguistically. Inadequate knowledge of English is a major problem among employees in municipal and state offices.
Entry of EU citizens to Germany with the intention of earning their living from the start with transfer payments from the German state alone is not covered by the free movement of workers. The European Court of Justice ruled in a ruling on November 11, 2014: "Inactive Union citizens who go to another Member State with the sole aim of receiving social assistance can be excluded from certain social benefits."
In autumn 2014, the Bundestag and Bundesrat decided to amend the Freedom of Movement Act. EU citizens who have become suspicious of receiving child benefit through undeclared work and illegal employment as well as fraud and who have left the country can be refused entry back to Germany.
Marriage migration is by far the most important reason for third-country nationals to immigrate to Germany. In 2010, 11,894 women moved to their foreign husbands, 11,259 to their German husbands, 2,847 men to their foreign wives and 5,649 husbands to their German wives in Germany. With regard to family and spouse reunification, Germany belongs to the group of countries with rather unfavorable conditions according to MIPEX -III. Reasons for the relatively negative rating are, on the one hand, the introduction of language certification requirements and, on the other hand, the long time it takes for a subsequent visa to be issued. MIPEX, on the other hand, rates the secure residence status of spouses who have joined them as positive.
Workers with work permits from countries outside the EU
The main instrument for the integration of workers who, at the request of their future employers, are to occupy jobs in Germany and immigrate from outside the EU is the EU Blue Card . In 2013 there were a total of 33,648 gainfully employed migrants from third countries in Germany.
Migrant workers who cannot prove any reason other than their economic hardship as a reason for an application for the granting of a residence status in Germany are not considered to be admitted and have to leave Germany by law no later than three months after their entry if their work Qualification is in demand on the German job market. Because they did not follow the procedure for obtaining a Blue Card. There is no possibility of obtaining a work permit for the vast majority of recently entered or willing people without EU citizenship if they want to take up a job for which a wage or salary is paid below that for the Receipt of a blue card is due.
In principle, the rule applies that politically persecuted persons according to Basic Law are granted asylum unless they come from the EU or another so-called safe third country or unless another country in the EU is responsible for them based on the Dublin Regulation . De iure, the regulation also applies, according to which asylum seekers who enter Germany across the land borders are rejected in accordance with the third country regulation without checking the content of their asylum application in the respective safe third countries (all countries bordering Germany are considered safe third countries). Only if no third country declares itself ready to take back the person concerned or the specific transit country cannot be determined, an asylum procedure should start in Germany.
However, the following procedure has been in place since summer 2015: Refugees who have crossed the German border can register as refugees or asylum seekers at any authority, including the police. You will then first be sent to an initial reception facility, a large, often fenced area with a police, doctor, canteen and dormitories for many people. Which federal state an asylum seeker comes to is determined by a special distribution key (the so-called Königstein key). Asylum seekers must initially live in the initial reception center. They are registered and asked by the asylum authorities about their reasons for fleeing. They receive a residence permit that allows them to stay in Germany until the asylum application has been decided. After three months in the initial reception center, they will be assigned to a specific city or district, strictly according to the rate determined by the computer. Some refugees ask to be accommodated where relatives already live. However, this only has to be taken into account in the case of spouses and minor children. The accommodation varies depending on the location: Sometimes it's your own apartment, sometimes a bed in the warehouse.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is responsible for examining the reasons for persecution, with its headquarters in Nuremberg and numerous branch offices in all federal states. The asylum seeker must present the reasons for persecution comprehensively and credibly at the hearing. Decision-makers at the Federal Office who have been subject to instructions from the Federal Ministry of the Interior since 2005 then decide on the actual and legal assessment of asylum applications.
The term resettlement refers to the permanent resettlement of particularly vulnerable refugees in a third country that is ready for acceptance, which grants them full refugee protection and offers them the opportunity to integrate into the country. In 2011, the Federal Republic of Germany committed itself to accepting at least 300 refugees annually as part of the resettlement program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Starting in 2015, it will take in at least 500 resettlement refugees annually.
During their asylum procedure, which can take a few weeks or several years, asylum seekers are initially accommodated in initial reception facilities according to communal accommodation according to AsylG and usually have to stay in the assigned district or at least the federal state ( residence requirement ). The Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG) has regulated social benefits for asylum seekers since 1993. In the first three months of their stay (before November 6, 2014: in the first 9 months of their stay; before September 6, 2013: in the first 12 months of their stay) asylum seekers are strictly prohibited from working . Even after that, employment is only permitted in exceptional cases. The amount of benefits under the AsylbLG, which has remained unchanged since 1993, was around 40 percent below the standard rate under SGB II ( unemployment benefit II ), which the Federal Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional on July 18, 2012, mandated the legislature to raise it to the subsistence level and temporarily itself Defined benefit rates.AsylG, later mainly in
The group of tolerated people in Germany poses particular problems for those in favor of a culture of welcome and recognition . All measures in their favor are subject to the sword of Damocles of a possible deportation in principle at any time as soon as the reason for acquiescence no longer applies.
Measurements of willingness to welcome and recognition
The Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) developed by the European Union represents an attempt to measure the extent to which the welcoming and recognition culture has developed in European countries . In 2015, Austria was ranked 20th from MIPEX and Switzerland ranked 21st is classified, Germany ranks 10th out of 38 predominantly European countries. This was the first time that Germany made it into the top 10 participating countries. Germany achieved relatively good results in the areas of “access to (German) citizenship” (3/38) and “labor market mobility” (4/38). Germany is still rated relatively poorly in the areas of “family reunification” (24/38), “health” (22/38), “fight against discrimination” (22/38), “permanent residence” (19/38) and “education” “(16/38).
According to Thomas Huddleston, Program Director of the Migration Policy Group, Germany is now seen by other countries as a role model when it comes to integration policy. In recent years, German policy has managed to implement numerous improvements for immigrants, for example better recognition of foreign qualifications. In other industrialized countries, however, right-wing populist parties have set the political agenda and blocked reforms. Germany is one of the few industrialized countries in which people's attitudes towards integration are improving. 72 percent think that non-EU citizens and Germans should have the same rights.
When putting the results of the MIPEX study into practice in Germany, in the interests of improving the culture of welcoming and recognition, it is primarily necessary to facilitate family reunification for people with a migration background and the acquisition of permanent residence status by them, to improve their health and education and fight more resolute discrimination based on ethnicity and religion.
Federation, states and municipalities
The main task of the federal, state and local governments is to change legal regulations that make it unnecessarily difficult or impossible for those who need to work in Germany to enter, stay and take up work in Germany. The law to improve the identification and recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad (also known as the “Recognition Act”), which came into force in 2012, plays a central role in the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad . Many find it particularly absurd that refugees already present in Germany are generally not allowed to fill a vacancy that matches their qualifications.
A decisive question is whether the welcoming culture that is unanimously propagated by the federal, state and local governments can be implemented everywhere in Germany. Focus Online reports that the night the planned refugee hostel in Tröglitz was set on fire, a police patrol was patrolling the place.
The Federal Ministries for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as Labor and Social Affairs and the Federal Employment Agency jointly operate the website “www.make-it-in-germany.com/”, which provides important information to foreigners looking for work.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) offers a wide range of information for migrants, refugees and other interested parties under the heading “Welcome to Germany” in German, English, Turkish and Russian.
In October 2016, in cooperation with the Standing Conference (KMK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Student Union (DSW) and the University Rectors' Conference ( HRK) , the BAMF published a handout for universities and student unions on university access and the study of refugees which is intended to "further promote the culture of welcome shown by German universities and student unions" and to enable practical orientation. It is aimed primarily at people who work at German universities, in student unions or in advisory institutions.
“ Welcome classes ” have been set up by the State of Berlin , in which, since the 2011/2012 school year, pupils who have only recently been in Germany and who have hardly any knowledge of German have received special tuition for one year. The classes are officially called “learning groups for newcomers without knowledge of German”. "Welcome classes" are now also available in other countries in Germany and in Austria .
The Education and Science Union (GEW) points out that “welcome classes” actually contradict the requirement of social integration . Critics also use the term “ghetto classes” in this context. According to the GEW, “welcome classes” are small classes that mainly arose out of necessity. Many schools have hardly any capacities and therefore very large class sizes. It is difficult for the teachers when many students are assigned to a class who do not understand a word of German. In such cases it is often better that the foreign children without any knowledge of German first learn German in special "welcome or small classes". The length of stay in these classes is individually different and depends on how quickly the individual student learns the German language. If the knowledge of German is sufficient, every student in a “welcome class” can be retrained in a school close to home.
Since the 2015/2016 winter semester, the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, in cooperation with the "Lüneburg Welcome Initiative", has been offering a seminar for freshmen and for people who have already studied or worked in their home country but who are not allowed to study or teach at German universities due to the lack of a residence permit.
The tasks of a communal welcoming culture are:
- combating prejudice and discrimination and promoting tolerance and appreciation of diversity (by addressing individuals)
- promoting encounters between long-time residents and immigrants as well as providing and creating opportunities and spaces for encounters (on the level of interpersonal relationships)
- the intercultural opening of organizations and institutions as well as the promotion of intercultural skills of their members
- the potential-oriented and appreciative communication of immigration and diversity as well as the promotion of migrant organizations and cultural initiatives of immigrants (shaping the social framework)
Many municipalities react to the risk that residents of a residential area will react to plans to settle refugees in their immediate neighborhood with protests by including refugee accommodation in the planning of new building areas. Anyone who moves there shows that they agree to the presence of their new neighbors from the outset.
Private companies and educational institutions
The Bavarian State Ministry for Economics, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology gives companies advice on how they can recruit and retain foreign workers. An internal welcoming culture plays a central role here. Specifically, the ministry proposes:
- Welcome event to get to know each other
- Support in the company or outside of it - ideally through a permanent contact person, for example when dealing with administrative procedures
- Training phase for familiarization, for faster orientation in the operational processes, for identification with the company
- Take other eating habits into account when choosing food in the canteen
- Show special features, for example of a legal nature, such as the regulations of the Works Constitution Act or the General Equal Treatment Act
- Team-building measures and joint offers in the company to avoid disappointment and loneliness
- Promote intercultural skills, for example giving advice on how to deal with colleagues and business partners
- Promote language skills and create space for this.
As a contribution to an improvement in the culture of recognition, the German Student Union, in cooperation with the Mercator Foundation, promotes the admission of higher education entrance qualifications with a migration background, in particular those with a foreign education. The main aim of this is to compensate for the disadvantage that many of them grew up in a household that was “ poorly educated ”.
Music schools and academies run music projects and initiatives that enable people to make music together, even if the participants do not speak a common language. Not only local refugee helpers are active, but also refugee musicians.
The Hamburg Conservatory created opportunities for children from an initial reception facility and children from the Conservatory's children's orchestra to make music together . These music projects, which are partly financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research , are intended to strengthen the children's zest for life and, through music, offer help in life with traumatizing experiences of flight and intensive language support. The Association of German Music Schools also presents several projects and initiatives by public music schools.
In 2015, the German Music Council spoke of the fact that “hundreds of welcome concerts, music educational offers and musical integration projects across the country” made clear the power of music, which transcends all language barriers. The welcoming culture is a dialogue, and music as non-linguistic communication has a unique role in it. Special space deserves the promotion of musical projects with children and young people. The German Choir Youth (DCJ), which forms the federal association of children and youth choirs in the German Choir Association , emphasizes the importance of singing in choirs and demands that greater consideration be given to the social conditions of choral work in the training of choir directors .
Volunteers , including a great many women, take on a variety of activities with which they want to help refugees. In November 2015 these were: dealing with authorities (49.6%), language lessons (43.7%), translation (36.2%), social counseling (34.1%), relationships with authorities (32.5%), looking for accommodation ( 29%), integration advice (26%), driving services (20.7%), tutoring (17.7%), medical care (11.4%) and psychological care (10.9%).
The Amadeu Antonio Foundation and Pro Asyl warn: “Even if not all residents sympathize with the arrival of the refugees”, it must be achieved to make it clear “that the general mood on the ground outlaws racism ”.
Also in Tröglitz in Saxony-Anhalt , a (literally and figuratively) focal point of right-wing extremist activities, residents are trying to make it clear to the public that they are welcome to refugees. Immediately before the arson attack on the planned refugee home in Tröglitz, the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung noted that at a citizens' meeting in which around 500 Tröglitzers took part, the "applause for supporters of the accommodation [...] was significantly stronger than the applause for objectors and opponents" be. Markus Nierth , resigned local mayor of Tröglitz, appealed on March 6, 2015: “Without the ' uprising of the decent ', the hitherto silent center and crowd, the coldness of the heart of the misanthropists and xenophobes will continue to spread, as feared . "
A topic report published by Phineo gAG in 2016 highlighted the commitment of companies, foundations, private individuals and migrant organizations for refugees and emphasized the importance of networking among the actors. Companies got involved by granting paid leave or pro bono benefits , making buildings or land available , making public statements and promoting intercultural cooperation in the company and in the region. Projects are often able to close funding gaps through membership fees and donations, but the long-term commitment of volunteers requires a networked and qualified civil society, whose offers demand and supplement state action. Regarding private engagement, Phineo highlighted several types of posts including:
- involvement in educational and medical projects and in residential and care projects
- the promotion of intercultural training as well as the qualification, networking and further training of those involved
- the assumption of costs for legal advice and for translators or interpreters
- the range of meeting rooms and support for mobile offers in the accommodations
- the range of German courses and teaching materials
- the granting of donations in kind for voluntary initiatives
- the promotion of meeting events and ideas from art, culture and music on flight, displacement, right-wing extremism and racism
The Phineo topic report named needs orientation, qualification, involvement of volunteer work, participation, networking and encounters as quality criteria for effective engagement.
The online community GoVolunteer was founded to coordinate the helpers who wanted to get involved in the course of the refugee crisis . The three startups GoVolunteer, HelpTo and ichhelfe.jetzt started working together in 2016 in the form of the Helfer Alliance to network digital offers for voluntary work more efficiently. An essential element of civic engagement is to include refugees themselves as volunteers, for example within the framework of the federal voluntary service . The Federal Working Group for Volunteer Agencies (bagfa) started the model project "Strengthening the engagement of and with refugees" in June 2016 with the support of the BAMF, which is implemented by several volunteer agencies and is to be funded until April 2019 and to support the placement of refugees in voluntary work .
In April 2019, Bremen's Senator for Social Affairs, Anja Stahmann, together with ministers from the states of Berlin, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia, called on the finance minister to include integration as a charitable purpose in the tax code.
The English daily newspaper The Guardian distinguishes two meanings of the term welcoming culture :
- Originally, the term was an alarm signal that was intended to lure people from abroad to Germany in order to compensate for the great shortage of skilled workers, especially in sparsely populated areas of Germany.
- Since the beginning of the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015 , the term has been used to advertise aid for the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming to Germany.
The French daily Liberation adds that the word “welcoming culture” originated in the tourism industry decades ago. According to this view, “welcome culture” would also be a Germanization of the technical term hospitality management .
The New York Times suspects that Chancellor Angela Merkel is concerned with laying the foundations for other groups of “new Germans”, namely the Syrian-Germans, the Iraq-Germans and the Afghanistan-Germans.
The criticism of the term "welcome culture" is aimed at various issues: It is criticized that declarations of welcome have a problematic context ( connotation ) and that the speakers or writers promise more than they could deliver (even with good will). Furthermore, the statements are not meant seriously or ideologically justified. The question also arises to what extent the way in which the welcoming culture is practiced in Germany is constitutional.
Use of language
The Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticized in October 2015 that the term is false and does not create a new reality, nor does such a slogan change human behavior. On the other hand, fears would be aroused that could be politically instrumentalized.
For Reinhard Mohr , the word “welcome culture” is one of the “foam rubber vocabulary” which “a priori standardize and unify the free view of the diverse and conflicting reality”, “the purely conceptual evocation of a brave new world in which only the malicious and hopelessly backwards disturb the social peace ”.
Another language critic, Bastian Sick , comments: “Anyone who says 'Welcome!' writes, often thinks of 'goodbye!' In the latter case it is in fact correct [unlike the phrase: "Welcome" in the "welcome" a non- nominalized adjective is] the second word capitalize as there is a substantiated verb: is Goodbye ' the short form of 'see you again'. ”The question arises as to whether the“ well-arrived ”(cf. French:“ le bien venu ”), that is, the person whose arrival is positively rated, is seen as a“ guest ” who is expected to leave Germany again soon (see also the misleading term “ guest workers ” as a term for migrant workers). Naika Foroutan confirms the suspicion that a pure welcoming culture without a culture of recognition enables "we can then continue to act in the role of the host."
Even Alexander Kissler points out, the word "welcome" that only the short process of coming refer, so could designate not to verstetigenden state: "Welcome, recalled that Grammatically-critical dictionary of Adelung , welcome thinks pleasantly upon arrival 'Pleasant to look at on arrival'. The term can only be meaningfully used stationary, only at the moment. ,Welcome!' is an expression of a prelude and impossible to force into the grid bed of a culture. ”Because“ Culture is the epitome of sustainability, is what people continuously do when the tides change when they cultivate the field of spirit or nature. Anyone who wants to give a lasting welcome turns into a strange character, a fat cousin who stands at the gate and still says 'Hello!' says when there is no longer any. "
The lack of precision of the term content is rated positively by some critics. When using the term welcoming and recognition culture, a “meaningful blurring” arises: Ultimately, it is often not necessary to signal more than “a certain basic attitude of openness and acceptance towards migrants”.
Role of the media
In 2017, after evaluating several thousand articles in national and regional daily newspapers from February 2015 to March 2016, a study by the Hamburg Media School came to the conclusion that the reporting of German newspapers at the beginning of the refugee crisis had uncritically and unanimously supported the policy of Chancellor Merkel. They had adopted “slogans of the political elite” and a “euphemistic-persuasive diction” of the concept of the welcoming culture and spread them. For example, “a culture of welcome has been transfigured into a kind of magic word, with which Samaritan services to be provided voluntarily by the citizens could be morally demanded”. The head of the study, Michael Haller , explained that a large number of journalists misunderstood their professional role and neglected the educational function of the media.
Range of the promise of welcome
Klaus Bade criticized in December 2013: “The ubiquitous welcome culture rhetoric with its many suggestions for improvement is in reality mostly about the undoubtedly overdue welcome technology at authorities. But it is by no means about the necessary change towards a social and especially a collective mental welcoming culture in the country. ”Because“ Germany was a reluctant immigration country for a long time in its self-awareness. It suffered from the unrealistic self-definition as a non-immigration country resulting from the defensive refusal of its political elites to gain knowledge. "
For “Spiegel” the crucial question is “how much diversity German society can really endure”. In terms of “welcoming culture”, the authors state: “In Germany, immigrants are either dismissed or feared as poverty migrants or are misunderstood by the economy as quick, cheap fillers for the shortage of workers and skilled workers. Much good cannot follow from such shortened perspectives. "
Georg M. Hafner from the Jüdische Allgemeine stated in April 2015 on the one hand: "Xenophobia and anti-Semitism are at a twelve-year low." On the other hand, this means that "in the west of the republic, on average, 20 percent of citizens agree with xenophobic statements. [...] In Saxony-Anhalt more than 40 percent are xenophobic. "Hafner asks himself:" What would the numbers look like if the country should no longer prosper as it does now and need scapegoats? " In a survey carried out by YouGov in February 2016, 29 percent of those surveyed in Germany would consider it justified if unarmed refugees were prevented from crossing the border with armed violence. 57 percent did not consider this to be justified.
Dirk Kurbjuweit also points out that there is no dichotomy between right-wing and right-wing populists on the one hand and supporters of a culture of welcome and recognition on the other. According to Kurbjuweit, the turnout in the mayoral election of the city of Cologne on October 18, 2015 was only 40.28 percent. The attack the day before on the candidate Henriette Reker , who before the election at the city of Cologne u. a. was responsible for the concerns of refugees, did not mobilize the Cologne. Kurbjuweit generalizes this fact to the thesis that Germany has split into three groups: "There is a radical anti-migration minority, a radical migration-friendly minority and a broad mass that is skeptical or indolent ." Also the "third group" cited by Kurbjuweit. weakens the influence of supporters of a welcoming and recognition culture.
In April 2016 Georg Cremer, Managing Director of Caritas, contradicted the thesis that in 2016 the opponents of the welcoming culture would have prevailed across the board against its supporters: “The voluntary commitment is as high as in summer , but the media perception became one-sided in the summer on the welcoming culture, today more focused on the terrifying events. "
Seriousness and sustainability of the protestation of welcome
Particularly in connection with the planned “welcome centers” for refugees, which are to be set up at the suggestion of European politicians outside the European Union (for example in North Africa), many critics assume that it is not a matter of “welcoming refugees” before they cross the Mediterranean on the contrary, to curb the influx of refugees into Europe. Such centers are also under the terms "asylum centers", "reception camps" or "reception centers in North Africa" (see: Safe routes to Europe ) in the political discussion.
Allegedly missing "farewell culture"
On September 12, 2015, the Chemnitz pastor Matthias Dreßler, who was also the state inspector of the state association of regional church communities in Saxony, demanded that the welcoming culture should be supplemented by a “farewell culture” for those who had come to Germany for dubious reasons.
Ingbert Liebing , chairman of the Schleswig-Holstein CDU and federal chairman of the local union association, took up this demand on September 21, 2015. According to Liebing, camera teams should not only show refugees arriving at the border, but “also show when a bus is going in the other direction”. For the demand for “show deportations”, Liebing was severely criticized by the chairman of the DGB Schleswig-Holstein: “I expect charity, humanistic values and political reason from a Christian Democrat.”
Willingness to help refugees as a fad
The philosopher Wolfram Eilenberger asked in 2016: “Where was all the energy before the refugees came? Where did it go? And last but not least: how long will it continue to bubble? "
The German-Turkish journalist Candan Six-Sasmaz , who has lived in Germany since she was born, suspected in 2015 that the fixation on refugees in 2015 was “in” at that time. She asked herself: “Why are we all of a sudden so nice to people to whom we can (or not) attach the label 'refugees'? What does that say about us? Are we moved by our own willingness to help? Are we participating because it is in to get involved with refugees? Because we feel good and belong as part of the community of helpers? And why do we ignore other people in need? The homeless in the pedestrian zone? The strangely disturbed girl in the neighborhood? Why didn't we help the refugees last year? And will we still do that next year? ”The background to the questions is the fact that Six-Sasmaz, as a supposed refugee, received an attention and helpfulness that she had never experienced in her previous life as a mere person with a migration background.
The “left” website “ Nadir.org ” made similar observations back in 1999. Ironically, the author notes that under the motto “no one is illegal”, “as true and beautiful” as the first sentence of the Basic Law (“ Human dignity is inviolable ”), met “ a bunch of friends ” at a camp near Zittau and was happy that through public relations, i. H. the media-effective telling of “life stories” of “good but deportation-threatened people” would have drawn them to “the coveted medialess”, with the result that they, but only they, were spared deportation. Discussions about long-term strategies between the various groups present, however, did not take place in the camp.
In July 2018, the "Stern" criticized the fact that once welcome helpers, also from politicians who bear responsibility, were defamed as part of an " anti-deportation industry ".
Bahareh Sharifi criticizes the " paternalizing " elements of the welcoming culture . Refugees are often denied their right to self-organization by many of those who demonstratively welcome newcomers. There are also approaches of paternalism to be found in some refugee aid networks. Some helpers suggested giving refugees training in cleanliness and hygiene. Others have complained that refugees resold donated clothes. The complainants found this ungrateful.
Refugees (according to Sharifi, legitimately) wanted to claim the right to freedom of movement, the free choice of housing, the decision to take up wage work, the possibility of political participation and access to education. Groups that demand a “right to stay for all” criticize that “while the opportunity to live in Europe is a matter of course for members of the western world, […] other people are only graciously granted this privilege” “If they either come from a recognized war zone or bring economic benefit.” The Refugee Council of Lower Saxony rates this attitude as “cynical” and “ racist ”.
The integration commissioner of the federal government, Aydan Özoguz , does not go far enough with the demand for a welcoming culture: “We basically [...] do not need a welcoming culture. Rather, we need a culture of participation . ”Her appeal can be interpreted in the sense that a“ catching up welcome ”is also necessary in order to avoid the emergence of a“ host-guest dichotomy ”, as it did after the wave of immigration from Migrant workers until 1973.
Endangering the productivity of the welfare state and aid organizations
In cities with severe housing shortages, competition between different groups of needy people is observed, particularly between refugees and the homeless. The latter complain about disadvantage and the decline in benefits to which they previously believed they were entitled. In Berlin, at the height of the refugee crisis, 350 people had to be turned away every day because of the need to accommodate refugees who wanted to stay in an emergency shelter. Many municipalities feared that there would be an increasing number of cold deaths in the winter of 2015/2016.
In February 2018, the Essener Tafel decided to only add those in need with German citizenship to its customer list. This measure was justified by the fact that the proportion of migrants had recently risen to around three quarters and that therefore, since 2016, especially older Tafel users and single mothers have been deterred by young men who speak foreign languages in the queue. Since food banks are not state or municipal institutions, no one has a legal right to benefit from the benefits of a food bank. According to a survey by “migazin” in February 2018, 47 percent of those questioned believed the Essener Tafel's decision to be wrong, but 47 percent also believed it was correct.
Questioning the constitutional basis of the welcoming culture
In the “Wirtschaftswoche”, Dirk Meyer stated at the end of October 2015 that “according to European and national law […] there could be no refugee at a German mainland border with the right to asylum” because “according to Art. 16a Para. 2 Basic Law asylum protection “can not be claimed by“ who is coming from a member state of the European Communities [...] ”. As a result, refugees are "unauthorized foreigners" who have to be "pushed back" at the German external border, since applications for political asylum have to be submitted to the authorities of those countries in which the refugees enter the territory of the EU for the first time. Meyer assesses the high number of refugees moving to Germany as "the result of illegal cooperation between various European member states and the German government."
In fact, refugees who reach Germany are not expelled immediately, but are taken into initial reception centers. According to the BAMF in autumn 2015, there is no legal basis to prevent refugees from leaving an initial reception center. Although non-registration of refugees deprives them of money and benefits in kind, in October / November 2015 in Lower Saxony 700 of the 4,000 refugees housed in emergency shelters left them without registration. Who they were, where they were staying, or whether they were still in Germany at the end of 2015, was not officially known at the time. Unregistered refugees who are picked up by the police are considered illegal immigrants, but were not deported at the height of the refugee crisis in this case either, but were re-registered.
Lack of democratic legitimation of a welcoming culture prescribed by the state
A top-down policy is criticized by which a welcoming culture is arranged “from above” without directly elected representatives being included in the decision-making process in the form of votes. This criticism relates primarily to the refugee policy of the Merkel III cabinet .
On January 7, 2016, the following “interjection” by Hans-Ulrich Jörges was published in Stern : “The German refugee policy must not be left to party conferences and closed- door conferences . Not even the Chancellery or the government alone. The most drastic change in Germany since reunification, which has deeply divided the people, requires at least approval, and as far as possible even shaping by the people's representative body, the German Bundestag . But that's missing. "
This view was largely shared in 2016 by the then Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder : “The fundamental change of course in refugee policy was a decision by the Federal Chancellor and the SPD chairman. […] But the Bundestag has never been asked whether it wants the state of emergency to continue over the long term. […] The option remains that the Free State of Bavaria could file a lawsuit against the federal government. The opinion of the former constitutional judge Udo Di Fabio confirmed our view that a policy of open borders is not covered by law and order. ”On May 10, 2016, the Bavarian state government declared that it did not want to lodge a constitutional complaint for the time being.
The AfD in Baden-Württemberg adopted its election program for the state elections on March 13, 2016 at its state party conference in Horb in October 2015 . In this a fundamental criticism of the supposedly ruling "welcome dictatorship" can be found: "The AfD [...] is the only democratic force that resists the unrestrained immigration mania and the welcome dictatorship of the old parties and also provides real opposition in this area."
Even Bassam Tibi said in August 2016 a "tyranny of the welcoming culture." Since there is no "debating culture" in Germany, unlike in other western countries, critics of Merkel's policy are treated as "deviants" from the "no alternative" political course.
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