Expert assessment of municipal naturalization practices (March 2021 – July 2021)

The Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration has commissioned the Expert Council’s scientific staff to conduct an expert assessment of good practice standards for naturalization campaigns on the state and local level. The report will develop quality criteria for naturalization campaigns and naturalization practice by analysing naturalization campaigns, general measures designed to increase naturalization activity, and forms of administrative organisation, in select local authorities and federal states which have significantly increased their naturalization figures over a long-term period and are thereby well-suited to serve as examples of good practice for other local authorities and states. We will use this analysis as the foundation for a series of recommendations for action for local authorities, state governments, and the German Federal Government with regard to supporting and encouraging naturalization in Germany.

In the course of the project the SVR will cooperate with the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) and the relevant authorities of the federal states and use data from naturalization statistics and the Central Register of Foreigners (Ausländerzentralregister, or AZR) to calculate the so-called ‘exploited naturalization potential’ (ausgeschöpftes Einbürgerungspotenzial, or aEP) on the level of municipal authorities. The aEP reflects the number of naturalizations in relation to the number of foreigners who have been resident in Germany for at least 10 years, and thereby gives a more reliable sense of foreigners’ interest in acquiring German citizenship than the mere naturalization rate. The Federal Statistical Office has already been recording and publishing the aEP on the state level for several years. Yet there is a need for more detailed data on naturalizations on the level of the administrative districts and municipalities within the states, especially given that municipal and local authorities are generally responsible for processing and deciding upon naturalization applications.

The results of the project were published by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration, (in German) and were presented to the public in an event at the beginning of June 2021.

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