Over the course of the past few years, all the cities studied in this report, with the exception of Cologne, have developed and implemented their own integration concept tailored to the specific regional challenges and requirements of each city (cf. Der Beauftragte des Berliner Senats für Integration und Migration 2005; Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg 2007; Landeshauptstadt München 2006; Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart 2001; Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart 2007; Stadt Frankfurt am Main 2005).
The individual concepts differ both in terms of the prioritisation of the content and measures to be executed and in terms of their focus on particular target groups. In addition there are fine distinctions in the understanding of integration on which the concepts are based, which can also be interpreted as a reflection of the different political majorities. For all their differences, the concepts share their emphasis on the necessity of region-specific approaches, the importance of language and education, their understanding of labour market participation as a central precondition for integration, and their desire to unlock the potential of cultural diversity. This last point in particular clearly shows a turning away from traditional "Ausländerpolitik" or immigration policy, which perceives immigration in terms of the recruitment of guest workers who served as a buffer against the vagaries of the economic cycle and who were subject to the principle of rotation and therefore not regarded as long-term members of the receiving society. Current policy attempts to focus on and foster the opportunities and potential of the international urban society (cf. Korte 1987)
The capacity of cities to influence education and the labour market is subject to certain limitations due to the given distribution of competence between the Federal Government, the states and the local authorities. Nonetheless, German cities and local authorities have a range of opportunities to influence education and access to the labour market. Table 5 shows examples of some central measures with whose aid the integration of immigrants and their children can be targeted and improved and which have already been adopted in the above-mentioned urban integration concepts. The measures focus in this regard on supporting language and education as well as improving access to the labour market. Since in particular the transition from school to a profession is an important and formative phase for the later professional career, efforts are being made in the cities towards achieving greater cooperation between schools, companies and the chambers of trade, industry and commerce.
Examples of regional integration measures
|Language courses for newly arrived and established migrants||Individual vocational advice and qualification programmes for young people with a migration background|
|Language and education support in pre-school education||Support in finding apprenticeship places|
|Active integration of parents through language courses and seminars||Creation of additional apprenticeship places with companies with a migration background|
|Voluntary mentors||Support for setting up independent businisses|
|Extension of the intercultural competence of teaching staff||Putting integration policies at the heart of city institutions and public services|
|Source: City integration concepts|
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).
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