Germany has been an immigration country for a long time. But there is still a ways to go before it becomes a true immigration society. The “Mission Statement for the Immigration Society” is a guideline and driving force for this necessary process.
Why do we need the Mission Statement?
For years, debates on migration, (forced) displacement and integration have asserted that German society needs a Mission Statement in order to achieve successful coexistence in the immigration society. Questions of migration and integration were and are subject to passionate debates. Even more important is society's self-awareness regarding these issues.
“We need this Mission Statement, because our attitudes towards immigration touch upon the way our state and society define themselves. The way we handle diversity and the measure of equal participation are an indicator of our democracy, social peace and security”, says minister of state Aydan Özoğuz, chairperson of a commission composed of 38 people that drafted the Mission Statement for the FES.
The Mission Statement and accompanying agenda containing integration policy demands call for actively framing the concept of immigration in order to use its potential and meet its risks.
Central Tenets of Mission statement and Agenda
- Immigration is the norm. Whether we are in favor or against it, immigration and emigration are part of a globalized world. We need an immigration law that provides clear rules for all forms of migration – regardless of the inviolable basic right to asylum.
- Germany is an immigration country and diversity is a fact. We must act accordingly. We need a positive commitment to diversity and equal participation. We need to treat diversity like it is the norm, not the exception. Public institutions, particularly educational institutions, serve as a model.
- A just society is one in which all can participate. We can and must facilitate participation for people with immigration backgrounds. The immigration society needs to provide an easier path to German citizenship and better opportunities for democratic participation to people who are not German citizens.
- Discrimination prevents integration. Protection against discrimination is one of the fundamental pillars of coexistence, one that should be further strengthened. Developing the General Equal Treatment Act or promoting anonymous application procedures are some potential possibilities.
- Common ground comes from coexistence. The Basic Law and respect for the liberal and democratic fundamental order are the pillars of the immigration society. Common ground cannot be ordered by the state, but must grow from personal encounters. We need to become more aware of the fact that there is not just one German identity, but that it is possible to become German and fully belong to the society.
Download the Mission Statement here. (*The Mission Statement is only available in German at the moment)
Contact: Dr. Dietmar Molthagen, Forum Berlin, phone 030/ 269 35-7322