Integration of Immigrants in the Free State of Saxony – Description of the Situation and Recommendations for Further Development of Integration Measures under the Saxony Immigration and Integration Concept

Expert Report | August 2014

(Only available in German)

As a result of the economic upswing in Saxony, the unemployment rate has declined significantly in the most populous eastern German state over the last few years; at the same time, the number of immigrants from abroad has increased and the state is once again experiencing positive net migration for the first time in a long while. Thanks to this trend, the Free State of Saxony is now an immigration state – and is benefitting from it: because immigration makes a considerable contribution to eliminating acute shortages of skilled workers and will help cushion the effects of the negative demographic trend over the medium term. In 2012, the state government of Saxony presented an Immigration and Integration Concept (Zuwanderungs- und Integrationskonzept - ZIK) outlining its immigration and integration policy goals. Two years after the ZIK was adopted, the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection commissioned the Expert Council‘s Research Unit to assess the integration of immigrants in Saxony and make recommendations for further development of integration policy in Saxony. The study shows that important steps have already been taken by Saxony to capitalise on the significant easing of restrictions in residence laws and improve integration in key areas of societal coexistence. In light of the dynamic migration, the Expert Council‘s Research Unit recommends, among other things, formulating clear and verifiable goals in the areas identified in the ZIK, assessing the need for an integration and participation law in Saxony, consolidating the responsibilities for integration policy within the state government more in one department and further develop integration policy measures and strategies also in relation to the native population, particularly for dealing with xenophobic, extreme right-wing views and promoting democracy and tolerance in civil education both in and out of school.