The year 2005 marks a turning-point in the history of the German immigrant society. After long and fierce debates, the Immigration Act came into force on the 1st of January. Thus, a new instrument has become available to sketch the reality of immigration and integration in Germany.
With no exception for Berlin, the Immigration Act is a political challenge, because the daily work in and with the immigrant society is performed in cities and municipalities
and the key parameters of integration are defined at local and regional levels. As German capital, European metropolis and city of immigration, Berlin plays a special
role here. The ever more pressing problems, both for Germany and Europe, with regard to the integration of immigrants, formulation of the future immigration policy and recognition of the plurality of the immigrant society accumulate in Berlin.
In 2005, the Senate of Berlin released two papers, which pointed the way for the future of the integration policy in Berlin: In spring, the Commissioner for Integration and Migration of the Senate of Berlin published the first comprehensive and commented statistics report on integration and migration in Berlin. In autumn, the Senate presented, for the first time, a concept defining the guidelines of integration policy in Berlin and the courses set for the future, which was envisaged under the overall supervision of the Commissioner for Integration and Migration. So far, both reports have been available in German only. This article combines the major sections of these two reports. In the first two chapters, the key facts and figures of Berlin’s immigration policy will be examined. Chapter 3 analyses the resulting challenges and sketches the guidelines of the integration policy in Berlin, which are being dealt with in Chapter 4 in greater details with examples in several selected spheres of action. The last chapter reviews the principles of the strategic orientation of the integration policy in Berlin.
Please consult for the full text the PDF: Encouraging Diversity - Strengthening Cohesion: Integration Policy in Berlin or the Internet:
Commissioner for Integration and Migration for the Senate