At local level, the increase in the influx of refugees is linked, on the one hand, to short-term financial burdens and, on the other, to medium- and long-term opportunities. In terms of integration policy, the question arises as to how the refugees are distributed throughout Germany. Particularly in rural areas in eastern Germany, many refugees, once their status is recognised, move to large cities like Berlin, Düsseldorf or Hamburg where many of their compatriots have already formed communities.
The research project aimed, on the one hand, to gain insight into the challenges that emerge at municipal and county level when refugees move from their original location. On the other hand, it aimed to analyse the general conditions under which – despite some considerable structural weaknesses in the labour market and infrastructure – integration efforts lead recognised refugees to make their homes in the communities. To this end, available data was evaluated in an exploratory study and policy management options and practices were analysed at state and county level, taking into account the residence requirements as outlined in the new integration law.
The project was funded by Stiftung Mercator. The results were published in November 2016.