verschiedene Menschen sitzen in einer Bürosituation um einen Tisch herum und reden miteinander

Making fair migration a reality

Germany needs immigrants, as the country increasingly faces an aging population and skilled-labor shortages. In recent years, Germany has received – in addition to foreign workers – large numbers of refugees. The challenge ahead is to organize voluntary and forced migration in cooperation with international partners so as to benefit migrants, their countries of origin and receiving countries alike.

Contact persons

Foto Ulrich Kober
Ulrich Kober
Foto Paula Maria Abbate
Paula Maria Abbate
Project Manager
Foto Najim Azahaf
Najim Azahaf
Senior Project Manager
Foto Christina Brickenkamp
Christina Brickenkamp
Program Assistant
Foto Mehrdad Mehregani
Mehrdad Mehregani
Head of Boards’ Office
Foto Kristina Neumann
Kristina Neumann
Project Assistant
Foto Susanne U. Schultz
Dr. Susanne U. Schultz
Senior Expert
Foto Claudia Walther
Claudia Walther
Senior Project Manager
Foto Ulrike Wieland
Dr. Ulrike Wieland
Senior Expert



Given the rising number of incoming refugees, Germany’s growing need for skilled labor and increasing public skepticism toward migration, the country faces considerable challenges in making fair migration a reality. This involves improving systems for managing labor migration, fostering a welcoming culture that facilitates the integration of immigrants, and developing a documentation and intake infrastructure for incoming refugees. In addition, relief must be provided to dysfunctional European asylum systems and cooperation established with source countries that targets the drivers of migration. Advocating for a triple win approach in its work, the Bertelsmann Stiftung contributes to solutions that effectively address these challenges.

Fostering openness

Promoting openness toward immigrants and fostering a welcoming culture matters: The successful integration of migrants in Germany requires both a fundamental willingness among the German population to accept migrants and the willingness among immigrants to integrate. An open society must demonstrate its willingness to meet migrants eye-to-eye and ensure social inclusion. Germany needs to demonstrate its fitness for diversity. Read more

Improving migration management in Germany

Well-managed migration involves creating benefits for our country that do not come at the expense of the local population or countries of origin. Proactive approaches seeking a long-term impact must therefore be applied in managing migration flows. In addition, any such approaches must be crafted with cross-sectoral policy effects in mind and address all forms of migration, including labor or skilled-labor migration, education-driven migration, familial reunion and humanitarian migration. These are essential considerations for a fair and effective management of migration with long-term Impact. Read more.

Establishing transnational skills partnerships

Sustainable results in acquiring skilled workers from abroad can be achieved only if the interests of the destination countries, the countries of origin and the migrants themselves are all taken sufficiently into account. In line with this triple-win perspective, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been conducting research into the transnational skills partnership approach since 2015. The concept of transnational skills partnerships describes a novel form of migration centered around work and vocational-training opportunities, and is used as a generic term for transnational models that link development-oriented migration policy with (vocational) education policy, and thus aim at a fair distribution of the benefits associated with the migration of skilled workers. Read more.

Making fair external migration policy a reality

Comprehensive and sustainable policy responses to migration and refugee dynamics require principled approaches in both domestic and foreign policies. Creating a coherent external migration policy involves improving horizontal coordination across different policy areas and the vertical coordination of policies across municipal, national, European and international levels. It also involves ensuring that the relevant actors from civil society and government in countries of origin, transit and arrival prove able to play an active role in the spirit of partnership. Migration and development need to be seen as interconnected issues. Lasting results can be achieved only if international cooperation on migration issues incorporates the interests of migrants as well as those of origin and destination countries. Our work aims to help implement this triple-win approach in Germany and abroad. Read more.

Proactive asylum policies in Europe

Germany and the EU are facing great challenges in migration and refugee policymaking. For one, leaders must develop a far more effective means of handling asylum procedures within the EU. This involves establishing both uniform asylum standards across member states and legal channels for persons who, according to international law, are in need of protection if irregular migration is to be effectively tackled. Of equal importance is the need to address effectively the causes of refugee migration. Migration partnerships between EU and third countries can play an important role in this regard.  Read more

Fair Education for an immigrant society

In schools and other educational institutions across the country, the fact that Germany has long been a country of immigration cannot be denied. Given that every third child in primary school comes from an immigrant family, educational institutions must do more to adapt to this reality. To date, socioeconomic background remains a key factor in determining educational success in Germany. Clearly, fair education opportunities are a must in a diverse society that seeks social inclusion. In its work targeting fair education opportunities, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has developed a series of proposals and recommended actions to be taken. Read more