As the observations in the above section have demonstrated, there are considerable differences between the major German cities concerning the integration of foreigners in the labour market.
The need for region-specific approaches to integration policy deriving from this has, meanwhile, been recognised by just about all major German cities and has led to the development of different integration concepts. The city of Stuttgart has taken on a pioneering role in this respect, having already developed and implemented its own overall concept for immigrant integration and participation as early as the year 2001 (cf. Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart 2001). The principles and aims of the regional integration policy of the state capital of Baden-Württemberg were determined in the so-called "Pact for Integration", whereby suggestions and recommendations from the academic community were explicitly taken into consideration.
The declared aims of Stuttgart's integration policy since 2001 are to promote participation and equality of opportunity for people of different origins, to use cultural diversity to extend the personal and professional competence of all members of the international urban society and to promote peaceful coexistence among all groups of the population. These action goals are pursued by means of a series of communal projects and measures to promote integration, wherein 12 fields of action have been defined:
Language support for newly arrived and established migrants
Language and education support in pre-school education
Equal opportunities in schools and education
Integration in the workplace
Putting integration policies at the heart of city institutions
Supporting integration and participation in all areas of the city
Living and neighbourship in the international city
Intercultural and international orientation of culture, economy and science
If we single out as an example the field of action "putting integration policies at the heart of city institutions", then by this we understand an increase in the proportion of employed persons with a migration background. The hope from this is to build up a greater basis of trust to the benefit of both sides. The subject of integration in the workplace includes support for setting up independent businesses, improvement in the training situation and targeted measures for providing qualifications.
The concept has been consciously planned as a flexible instrument, which is to be adjusted to current requirements by means of regular evaluation and through an exchange of ideas with all the actors involved. Thus the concepts inherent in the "Pact for Integration" have been continually developed over the course of the past few years (cf. Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart 2007). Stuttgart´s integration concept enjoys high international recognition and in 2005 Stuttgart was awarded prizes for its integration policy, among other accolades, by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Bertelsmann Foundation.
On the initiative of the city of Stuttgart, moreover, on 2 May 2006 the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE), the state capital Stuttgart and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions founded the European city network "Cities for Local Integration Policies for Migrants" (CLIP). The network aims to enable countries to compare their local integration policies, to work on examples of best practice and put forward policy recommendations (cf. CLIP 2007).
Andreas Damelang is a reseacher and doctoral student at the Institute for Employment Reseach (IAB) in Nuremberg.
Max Steinhardt is a researcher and doctoral student at the Hamburg Institute of Intenational Economics (HWWI) and at the Centro Studi Luca D´Agliano in Milan (since May 2008).