Paper Tigers or Milestones? A Comparison of the Integration Acts of the Bundesländer

Policy Brief | October 2017

Integration is a topic of hot debate at the federal level; yet it is the states and local authorities (Länder and Kommunen) that are responsible for many of its key aspects. Four of Germany’s 16 federal states have passed their own integration acts in recent years. The policy brief examines the acts passed by the states of Berlin (2010), North Rhine-Westphalia (2012), Baden-Württemberg (2015) and Bavaria (2016). The brief’s main conclusion: With their respective acts, the Bundesländer are underscoring the importance of integration policy, and setting the framework conditions for the latter. Integration acts at the state level can guide integration policy by creating or strengthening structures for coordination and cooperation. However, their ultimate impact will be determined not only by their specific legal arrangements but also by their implementation in practice. Ultimately, acts and laws can guarantee neither an appropriate integration policy nor improved opportunities for participation. The policy brief was funded by Stiftung Mercator.