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Labor migration and refugees in the 21st century: 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.

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.

Proactive asylum policies

Germany and the EU are facing difficult challenges in migration and refugee policymaking. Proactive asylum and migration planning is needed if we are to develop effective, fair and sustainable solutions for the increased refugee arrivals to Europe.
A proactive European refugee policy is based on two pillars. The first involves a far more effective handling of asylum procedures within the EU. This includes establishing uniform asylum standards across the member states, timely and sound asylum procedures, effective measures for integrating refugees, as well as the establishment of legal channels for persons in need of protection according to international law. Without legal asylum options, such as coordinated intake programs (resettlements), there will be no lasting reduction in irregular migration. The second pillar involves effectively addressing the root causes of migration. Migration partnerships between the EU and non-EU countries have a particular part to play here.

Proactive asylum and migration 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

Triple-Win: Promoting development through migration

Making fair migration a reality requires a coherent policy approach that brings benefits for migrants, their countries of origin and receiving countries alike. Solutions with long-term impact are possible only if we achieve international cooperation on migration issues that target triple-win objectives. With these goals in mind, we have the opportunity to develop a new migration policy that fosters global development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

Education for an immigrant society

Educational institutions must prepare for the fact that growing numbers of children and youths in Germany are of migrant heritage. In a diverse society where socioeconomic background still heavily influences educational success, equal opportunities in education and labor market participation must be strengthened.

Fair education opportunities 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

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR)

The Bertelsmann Stiftung and seven other foundations are jointly financing the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration; SVR). The council is an independent panel of experts which presents a report every year, as well as periodic statements. A research unit at the SVR complements this work. Read more

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