1.5.2010 | Von:
Susanne Worb

Six Approaches

The following sections provide an overview of these forms of monitoring on the basis of seven characteristics. It should be noted that they are at different stages of development.

Einbürgerung von Migranten im Bonner Alten Rathaus. Hier: Ein junger Student der Volkswirtschaftslehre, türkischer Abstammung, freut sich mit seiner deutschen Freundin über die Einbürgerung.Naturalization of foreign citizens at the town hall in Bonn. (© picture-alliance/dpa)
Reference is made to the following approaches:
  • at the community level, the monitoring of Wiesbaden;
  • at the federal state level, the integration report presented by North Rhine-Westphalia in 2008 as well as the federal states' joint indicator set;
  • at the Federal Government level, the "Integration report" produced by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees as well as the indicator set and the report based on it for the Federal Government Commissioner;
  • and as an example of a non-state report applicable on various regional levels, the study carried out by the Berlin Institute.
Selected monitoring systems: their aim and interpretation of integrationSelected monitoring systems: their aim and interpretation of integration Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
The following sections provide an overview of these forms of monitoring on the basis of seven characteristics. It should be noted that they are at different stages of development. Thus the federal states' joint indicator set has been recently tested in a pilot study; no decision has yet been made as to its final form or the nature of the ensuing reporting. The reports for the Federal Government Commissioner and of the Berlin Institute and the state of NRW have each to date only been presented once, whereas Wiesbaden can meanwhile look back over six years of integration monitoring. Comparisons are nonetheless possible, despite these differences in their stage of development.

1) What is the aim of monitoring?

Almost all of the examined approaches explicitly pursue the aim of depicting the state of integration for the respective regional unit (local municipality, state (Länder) level, national level). However, there are also references to the procedural character of integration by means of formulations such as "state of the integration process and its development" (Wiesbaden). Two approaches differ somewhat in this respect: the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees is endeavouring to provide "basic information on the subject of integration" for various user groups, while the Berlin Institute aims above all to demonstrate which immigrant groups experience particular integration problems. In fact, however, both these organisations are conducting first and foremost a state diagnosis.

2) Integration in what sense?

The term integration is not always explicitly defined in the forms of monitoring under consideration. Table 1, however, shows two central elements:
  • "equality of opportunity" and "participation on equal terms" for people with and without a migration background as an aim of integration policy,
  • and the "equalisation" of conditions of life between the two groups.
The aspect "equality of opportunity" can be illustrated through the example of migrants' acquisition of German citizenship. There is no doubt that naturalisation increases the opportunities for political and social participation since, among other benefits, it is associated with the unrestricted right to vote on all political levels [1]. In the case of Wiesbaden this aspect is even used twice as an indicator, firstly as the proportion of foreigners with a claim to naturalisation, and, secondly, the number of foreigners who actually become citizens per 100 of those entitled to apply. Thus an indication is given as to how many foreign men and women could technically achieve legal equality of opportunity and how many actually make use of this possibility. Table 2 shows that between these two indicators there exists a considerable, and over the course of time, constant gap: about half of the foreign citizens in Wiesbaden would be entitled to apply for German citizenship, but of these only 2.5 to 4.2% are naturalised per year.

Indicators on naturalisation in the Wiesbaden monitoring system
YearProportion of foreigners entitled to apply for naturalisation (in %)*Naturalisations per 100 entitled to apply
Source: State capital Wiesbaden 2008. Own calculation
* Entitlement to apply for naturalisation: at least 16 years old, resident in Germany for at least 8 years, secure residence permit.
** No data published for 2001.

The second stated aspect that of the "equalisation of conditions of life" between immigrants and the native German population, means, in practice, that the similarity or dissimilarity of the distribution of characteristics in both groups is measured. Thus, for example, the first indicator report for the Federal Government Commissioner shows that among 18 to 25 year olds without a migration background in the year 2007, 1.6% had no educational qualifications, whereas the proportion of those of the same age with a migration background was two and a half times greater at 4.4% [2]. This, then, concerns directly comparable figures of migrants and non-migrants. Other examples of this type are the proportion of homeowners or the proportion of the population receiving minimum benefits payments.

Indicators, dimensions and data sources for selected monitoring systemsIndicators, dimensions and data sources for selected monitoring systems Lizenz: cc by-nc-nd/2.0/de (bpb)
Finally, there is still a third aspect which can be understood as a precondition for the alignment of opportunities and conditions of life and which therefore also plays a role in monitoring: the openness of the receiving society. The fact that openness of this kind has to exist at a social and institutional level is more or less explicit in the understanding of integration for all approaches. This finds expression in indicators such as the "proportion of bicultural marriages" (Berlin Institute) or the "number of registered racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic acts of violence" (federal states' indicator set). Even the proportion of people with a migration background employed in various areas of work, such as the civil service, can be regarded as a measurement of this aspect.


EU foreigners may vote in Germany on a local and EU level; by contrast, citizens of Non-EU countries cannot vote at all.
ISG/WZB (2009: 44).



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