The Green Card initiative arose from complaints made by trade associations like BITKOM (German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media) over the lack of ICT specialists.
Even individual corporations and lobbying agencies from this sector, such as Initiative D21
Against the background of this discussion, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced the Green Card programme rather unexpectedly during the international computer trade show "CeBIT 2000" in Hanover. It was intended to be one initiative within a complete technology-specific package which was aimed at improving education and training conditions in Germany. The Green Card, however, triggered a heated debate concerning labour migration and the necessity for reforms to German immigration legislation.
Dr. Holger Kolb is a researcher at the University of Osnabrück's Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS).
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