Book Publication

What Holds Asian Societies Together?

Social cohesion has become a key policy goal around the globe – not only in the Western Hemisphere, but also in Asia. Despite growing interest in the concept among policy makers and researchers, no generally shared understanding of social cohesion exists. Most importantly, empirical data are lacking. For these reasons, we developed the Social Cohesion Radar, whose findings for the societies of South, Southeast, and East Asia have been collected in a new study. read more...


Excerpt from change Magazine 2/2017

Cities are “laboratories” of communal life

Author: Johannes von Dohnanyi

Germany has long been the country of immigration that it doesn’t yet officially want to be. An unbiased reality-check of one’s own personal environment as well as countless social-science studies provide ample proof of this. 


International research

Living in cultural diversity: Samen Inburgeren

Our global search for good examples of institutions and people successfully navigating cultural diversity for this year’s Reinhard Mohn Prize led us to Mechelen, Belgium, home to the Samen Inburgeren project. The project advances the experience of living together in diversity by bringing together local long-term residents with newcomers with non-Belgian origins. The project works with an open concept of “newcomer” in which everyone, regardless of background, whether they’ve come to Belgium for work, as a refugee or Erasmus student, is welcome to participate in exchange and help build new friendships. read more...


Reinhard Mohn Prize 2018

Living Diversity - Shaping Society

German society is culturally diverse – and has been for quite a while. Several different religions, traditions and languages have long been an integral part of our country. Diversity is a lived aspect of normal day-to-day life in Germany. And while living in cultural diversity presents on the one hand challenges, it also involves opportunities. In order to ensure mutual benefits in the exchange of different perspectives while making diversity a source of societal strength, we must pro-actively shape the conditions in which diversity is experienced. read more...


Reinhard Mohn Prize 2018

Living together in cultural diversity

German society is culturally diverse – and has been for quite a while. Several different religions, traditions and languages have long been an integral part of our country. Diversity is a lived aspect of normal day-to-day life in Germany. And while living in cultural diversity presents on the one hand challenges, it also involves opportunities. In order to ensure mutual benefits in the exchange of different perspectives while making diversity a source of societal strength, we must pro-actively shape the conditions in which diversity is experienced. read more...


Policy Brief

Does Germany need a new immigration law?

Despite record levels of immigration, relatively few skilled workers are arriving among migrants from non-European countries. Our recent edited volume by policy and legal experts explores the extent to which a new immigration law can help attract the global skilled labor Germany needs to manage demographic change. Our Policy Brief outlines what this legislation should include. read more...


Religion Monitor

Clear Progress for Integration of Muslims in Western Europe

The Muslim population in Western Europe has been growing since the 1960s. In most countries, Muslims now make up more than five percent of the total population. Despite social tensions, integration is making clear progress. This is the central finding of our Religion Monitor 2017. read more...


Working paper

How algorithms can promote participation

Algorithms influence our lives not only on Facebook, but in many other areas of life as well. Algorithmic decision-making (ADM) processes are used, for example, to observe and evaluate how often break-ins occur in certain neighborhoods so the police can deploy their resources accordingly. Insurance companies also use them to monitor how automobiles are driven. We have therefore developed a method which can be used to evaluate ADM processes to see to what degree they can affect social participation. read more...



Indian high-skilled migrants and international students in Germany

Similar to the US and UK, immigration from India plays an important role in Germany. India became the second most important country of origin of international students and the most important country of origin of high-skilled migrants in Germany in 2015. A new study of the Bertelsmann Stiftung conducted by the University of Bielefeld, examines motivations, intentions of stay and development effects of migration from India to Germany for economic and education purposes. read more...



Easing the burden on asylum systems requires disentangling flight and migration flows

While war or persecution are driving some to flee, others leave their homes because they cannot find work, feed their families or because they wish to secure a better life. A growing number of people from Africa and Asia have left for Europe, and the numbers of those migrating within the European continent are also growing. But it is often difficult to distinguish refugees from labor migrants. This places a heavy burden on asylum procedures and the system as a whole. What can we do to ease the burdens of a strained system? read more...



European refugee support: between crisis management and conflicting values

Despite the range of differences among European states, how might we design and promote an effective and viable asylum policy? In the face of policies driven primarily by individual interests, is the EU the only means of forging a collective response to challenges? Indeed, doesn't the EU offer an advantage over nation-states acting alone? Though the answer to these questions remains difficult, experts and policymakers broadly agree on what needs to be done, as seen at an expert roundtable hosted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Berlin. read more...

Munich Security Conference 2017


Urgent need to tackle root causes for flight and migration

Why are more and more people from Africa, Asia and Southeastern Europe leaving their native countries? And what can we do to fight the root causes of flight and migration? In this context we launched a new publication and debated with EU and Middle East experts on 17 February at the Munich Security Conference. read more...



Displacement's vicious circle: combating the causes, offering practical help

They leave their families behind and set forth on what are often life-threatening journeys towards an uncertain future: Why are more and more people from Africa, Asia and Southeastern Europe leaving their native countries? It's an issue we researched together with international experts. The goal was to develop ideas for combating the underlying causes of displacement and assisting people in Europe. read more...


Vision Europe Summit

António Guterres: Countries must regulate migration better

The objective of this year's Vision Europe Summit in Lisbon was to find better answers to the refugee crisis for Europe as a whole. The event's keynote speaker, UN Secretary-General-designate António Guterres, called on countries to do their part – and announced his own political initiatives. read more...



Integrating refugees into the labor market: No cure-all in sight

Everywhere in Europe, policy makers are looking for ways to help asylum-seekers and refugees find jobs. It's a major challenge and the tools being used vary – from language courses and internships to competency tests and training programs. No one, however, has found a surefire approach, as our new study shows. read more...



With Heart and Mind in Münster

In Münster, a concept for the integration of refugees was already developed 15 years ago. It works, and above all now, it is bearing fruit: good housing throughout the city, and no mass accommodation. But with refugee numbers on the increase, things are getting tight for Münster, too. read more...



Asylum systems under pressure: Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden in the "crisis year 2015"

The number of asylum seekers in Europe has increased continuously over the last years: Eurostat counted 182,000 first applications in 2008 in the EU including Switzerland and Norway, in the "crisis year 2015" these applications reached 1.3 million. Both the number of asylum seekers and the asylum procedures vary considerably among countries in Europe. Therefore, the European Commission aims at the harmonization of asylum policies in order to establish a common efficient and fair approach towards refugees. read more...


Competence cards

Recognizing and utilizing the potential of people with migrant backgrounds

People with migrant backgrounds still suffer significant disadvantages with respect to educational and professional opportunities. However, many newcomers have valuable experience and qualifications. In cooperation with various partners, we have developed competence cards for the immigration counseling in order to speed up the recognition and utilization of such qualifications and experience. These cards are now available under a CC BY SA license. read more...

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A national office for migration and displacement in Morocco

Moroccan refugees and migrants are often viewed unfavorably in Germany following the events that took place in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Their culture seems foreign and their political challenges very different from those faced by European nations. As is in Europe, however, Morocco's government is confronted with pressing issues resulting from integration and migration. read more...


Open Letter

Leaders of European think tanks call for action in the refugee situation

European leaders need to implement common European solutions to the refugee crisis. Only joint solutions can credibly and effectively reduce the growing human suffering and social and political turmoil. Leaders of seven European think tanks and foundations have signed an open letter to European politicians spotlighting five urgent measures for addressing the crisis. read more...

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Five steps to successful integration

The influx of refugees is an omnipresent topic in Germany. Each day brings new challenges – and new reactions. Creativity and expertise are needed if we are to respond effectively to both the large number of newcomers and society's needs in general. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is launching a series of projects and initiatives designed to achieve this goal.  read more...



Libya in free fall

Libya is the second most important transit country for refugees making their way to Europe, after Turkey. Yet five years after popular protests deposed the country’s dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, this failing state faces new threats that are placing many at risk, not just refugees. Our latest factsheet examines the current situation in Libya. read more...

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Recognizing non-formal and informal competences

European countries need a binding validation system for non-formally or informally acquired competences to establish equal opportunity on the employment market and utilize the potential of refugees. Seven European countries have demonstrated how such systems can be designed. read more...

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Welfare state profits from migration

Foreign-born individuals currently living in Germany ensured a net fiscal surplus of € 22 billion in 2012. With more investments in education and a stronger focus on skilled migrants Germany could continuously profit from migration.

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Spain could reap benefits of apprenticeship training

Measures introduced three years ago for in-firm apprenticeship training have resonated only marginally among Spain's companies. Less than five percent of all trainees are receiving in-firm training in addition to their vocational education. Our study shows that Spanish firms are ignoring this opportunity at a disservice to themselves. read more...

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Rita Süssmuth receives Reinhard Mohn Prize

Rita Süssmuth, former president of the German Bundestag, was awarded the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Reinhard Mohn Prize on June 11 in Gütersloh. In bestowing the prize, the foundation is recognizing Süssmuth for her pioneering efforts to create a contemporary immigration and integration policy. read more...



Fostering Just Migration Governance

How can we manage migration in a fair way? This question is at the core of the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2015 – and of the publication "A Fair Deal on Talent – Fostering Just Migration Governance" of the Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung. read more...



Does Germany welcome immigrants?

Every year, more immigrants arrive in Germany than in any other European country. Thousands come in the hope of finding work and a better life. Yet newcomers only remain if they feel comfortable. How do Germans currently feel about immigrants? Our survey provides some answers. read more...

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Rita Süssmuth receives Reinhard Mohn Prize

The recipient of this year's Reinhard Mohn Prize is former Bundestag President Rita Süssmuth. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is using the prize to honor the CDU politician for her pioneering efforts to create a contemporary immigration and integration policy. Süssmuth will receive the €200,000 prize at a ceremony to be held in Gütersloh on June 11. read more...

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Religion Monitor

Muslims in Germany have close ties to society and state

The attitudes and lifestyles of Muslims living in Germany very much reflect the social values prevalent in the Federal Republic, a fact little recognized by the general population. Most Germans are becoming increasingly averse to Islam. The result is exclusion and hardship for the country’s Muslims. read more...


February 7, 2014

German Federal President speaks on Vocational Education in Bangalore

Addressing some 100 Indian and German business leaders, politicians and academic experts, the German president enumerated the strengths of the "dual system" used in Germany, which successfully provides young people with both classroom instruction and on-site vocational training. "For the system to function, companies must be willing to take responsibility even beyond of their own business operations," Gauck said. read more...


EU labor mobility

Completing the common European labor market

Despite the free movement of workers within the EU, labor migration flows in the Union remain modest. Nonetheless, greater mobility gives rise to considerable opportunities. How can we make better use of the available opportunities in the European labor market? read more...

Recognizing skills

Promotion opportunities “low-skilled” persons

The opening of the social shears and shortage of specialized personnel show: Germany must finally start recognizing and making use of informally and non-formally acquired skills. Especially for people without a formal professional or higher education degree. Based on studies and practical examples, foreign and domestic, we illustrate how this might work. read more...

Advising learners

Every human has potential

In Germany, migrants less frequently engage in further learning and have fewer opportunities on the labour market. And this even though everyone bears competences and potential. It is our mission to campaign for a better educational counselling of people with migrant backgrounds – to ensure equal opportunities for everyone. read more...

Everyone can do something

Competences for all - Discover. Develop. Acknowledge.

We make continuing education opportunities and deficits transparent, down to the regional level. In cooperation with science, practice, politics and the economy, we develop and test concepts for better educational guidance, validation of competences and the use of participant-oriented forms of learning. read more...

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About the Project

Vocational Training: Opportunities for Everyone

The “Vocational Training: Opportunities for Everyone” initiative promotes reforms targeting greater flexibility of vocational training in Germany. Because everyone should have the chance to develop their skills and talents, vocational training should address a broader spectrum of capabilities among youths. read more...


"A Fair Deal on Talent – Creating an Equitable System of Migration"

In today's globalized world, companies compete internationally for the best talent and people change countries to find work. In view of that, how can Germany attract the highly skilled workforce it desperately needs – and do so in a way that is both effective and fair? That is the question being addressed by the 2015 Reinhard Mohn Prize. read more...

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EU labour mobility

Harnessing European Labour Mobility

The study “Harnessing European labour mobility” makes policy recommendations to foster cross-border labour mobility based on a scenario analysis for labour mobility in 2025. read more...