Merkel Calls For Increased Integration of Immigrants

Chancellor Merkel has made calls for strengthening the integration of immigrants into German society.

With approximately 16 million residents in Germany coming from an immigrant background, Merkel has said that it is not enough merely to have migration to Germany. Still more important, in her words, is to be a country of integration. 

The federal government under the CDU/CSU coalition has put a considerable amount of resources into integration policies. The Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees has been modified in order to oversee the task of integrating immigrants into general society. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has set up language and integration courses with government funds, and anti-racism initiatives receive government backing.

Speaking at the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Merkel said that "increasing diversity is an asset." Bringing a broader spectrum to the workforce and expanding the market directly available to German distributers are aims the German government could do well to achieve. 

As German demographs change, moving towards a younger, more multi-cultural Germany, Merkel's CDU party, whose support base is getting older and less politically active, faces challenges in order to stay relevant and in touch with the evolving country.

A similar trend can be seen occuring across the world, as globalisation and the ease of movement that has developed over the last 30 years is beginning to translate into significant changes in population demographics. In the USA, where white citizens are now outnumbered by other ethnic groups, the traditionally anti-immigration Republican party is beginning to try to appeal to Hispanic voters. In the 2012 presidential election Mitt Romney firmly failed to win the Hispanic vote.

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