State minister Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer MdB was a guest of the Ambassadors Club on 15 May. In her capacity as federal commissioner for migration, refugees and integration, she provided the 20 ambassadors and guests present with an introduction to the current status of discussion. The focus was on improving the culture of recognition and welcome for citizens with a migratory background, of whom there are already 16 million today. In particular, the minister dealt with the challenges posed by current internal European migration and the shortage of qualified workers in Germany.
In view of the high youth unemployment rates in southern Europe and the shortage of trainees in Germany, the member of the Bundestag for the CDU said she saw an opportunity here for mutual assistance within the EU. The emphasis in efforts made to recruit would need to be on knowledge of the German language, education, training and work. She added that it was also these criteria that needed to be called for more strongly among those citizens with a migratory background who have been living in Germany for a long time. She said that German was already being learned in day nurseries, and that with integration courses, especially for mothers, more success was now being achieved in the establishment of the German language in the everyday life of immigrant families.
She said that via the Goethe institutes linguistic competence was already being successfully imparted to potential immigrants in their country of origin. The state minister said that in her view the challenges currently facing the federal government were how to increase the proportion of citizens with a migratory background in public service and how to ensure that more qualifications obtained abroad were recognised. In the latter area especially, she added, it had already been possible to change a good deal for the better with the liberalisation measures already implemented. The recognition of achievements is now being made possible here, with as many as 96% of the qualifications obtained abroad currently being recognised. Prof. Dr. Böhmer said she saw great potential for integration in everday life, particularly in sport, drawing particular attention to the successful cooperation with the German Football Association (DFB).
The topics covered by the ambassadors present in the time allowed for questions included dual nationality and the recognition of political refugees. Also issues relating to the preservation of linguistic skills from the country of origin, for example via specific school partnerships in priority regions, or the specific encouragement of young women in technical professions, were able to be discussed in the agreeable atmosphere of Berlin’s Waldorf Astoria.
Pictures: Agentur Baganz