1.5.2010 | Von:
Susanne Worbs

Approaches to integration monitoring in Germany

The decade now approaching its end was characterised in Germany by profound political, legislative and institutional changes with regard to integration policy.[1]
Islamischer Religionsunterricht an einer Schule in Stuttgart.  (© AP)

Such changes include, for example, the reform of the citizenship law which came into force in 2000, the introduction of integration courses throughout Germany as a result of the Immigration Law (2005) and the adoption of the National Integration Plan (2007). In this context, the question increasingly arises as to whether and how to determine the successes and failures of Germany´s integration policy. This is exemplified by the idea expressed in the Federal Government´s declaration on the National Integration Plan that "successful integration policy must be measured by clear indicators ... These need to be reviewed on a regular basis and become a foundation for continuous reporting and evaluation" [2].

This leads into the subject of the present policy brief, the development of so-called "integration monitoring" that has experienced a boom in Germany in recent years. It concerns the attempt to formulate statements about the state and changes in immigrant integration by means of regularly collated statistical parameters (indicators [3]). The following section provides a brief overview of the development of integration monitoring in Germany before leading into an analysis of the similarities and differences between selected approaches. The extent to which the measurement of integration as a state or process also permits assertions as to the effectiveness of integration policy is one of the central questions addressed in the conclusion. Overall, the policy brief is intended to contribute to an assessment of the potential, and also the limits, of current integration monitoring.

This paper does not discuss corresponding developments in other countries or on a European level, although they do provide important reference points for Germany. In December 2009, the Swedish EU presidency presented for the first timespecific recommendations for common European integration indicators in the areas of occupation, education, social inclusion and active citizenship [4]. Somewhat further developed, by contrast, are indicator systems with which a normative evaluation of integration policy and the legal framework in (primarily) European states is undertaken. These do not, however, measure integration itself [5].


The author is a researcher at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). This document exclusively describes her personal perspective.
Bundesregierung (2007:15).
Cf. Ohliger (2007: 20).
Cf. Swedish Presidency (2009) and as a background paper on the subject Niessen et al. (2009). This was preceded by a series of related political statements, Council decisions and preliminary conceptual work. For these, see not only: the Council of Europe (1997), Entzinger/Biezeveld (2003) and Niessen/Schibel (2005). Several EU-funded research projects in which there has been German involvement have also been involved in the development of integration indicators in recent years. See, for example, Beauftragter des Senats von Berlin für Integration und Migration (2007) and Berliner Institut für Vergleichende Sozialforschung (2007)
For example, the European Civic Citizenship and Inclusion Index (Geddes et al. 2005) and the subsequent Migrant Integration Policy Index (Niessen et al. 2007), in short MIPEX.



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