The sixth Annual Report of Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migrationentitled “Immigration Countries: Germany in an International Comparisonʺ in Berlin

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration - SVR) today presented its sixth Annual Report entitled “Immigration Countries: Germany in an International Comparisonʺ in Berlin.

The English version of the core messages and the press release for the Annual Report can be downloaded free of charge here: 
The complete English version of the Annual Report will be published in summer 2015.

Key findings
The Annual Report compares Germany's migration and integration policies with the policies of selected EU countries as well as with traditional immigration countries such as Canada and the USA. The first section looks at issues related to immigration management while the second section is dedicated to integration policy. Germany performs better in these comparisons than the public discourse would lead one to believe.

The comparison arrives at a dual conclusion: it shows, on the one hand, that Germany has now joined the ranks of progressive immigration countries in an international comparison. Germany has made great strides in many areas of migration management and integration policy in a political and conceptual sense and its achievements are impressive compared to traditional immigration countries – particularly in the area of labour migration policy. The analysis also identifies, on the other hand, deficits and failures in German and European policy, for example, the lack of an overarching migration policy concept not only to the outside world but also internally, as well as an urgently needed reform of the citizenship policy and, above all, the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

Apart from these kinds of concrete proposals for reform, the Annual Report also clearly identifies the limits of learning from others. Germany cannot simply transfer ‘blueprints’ developed in other countries for three reasons: first, different country-specific political, economic, cultural or social conditions call into question the recommendation popular in the political and media discourse of simply importing a policy – that was (apparently) successful somewhere else. Second, Germany itself has become one of the pioneers of a modern migration policy in areas such as labour market policy. Third, there is a tendency towards convergence – with the result that the policies in many immigration countries are drawing closer and becoming increasingly similar.

Germany therefore has to find its own path, one that is embedded in the overall conditions here and is guided by the principle of safeguarding the country’s future. The Annual Report provides several examples of the form this path could take.

With a view to reforms of the Common European Asylum System, the SVR proposes, for example, a compromise between two apparently irreconcilable and opposing positions: at the core of the current debate is the Dublin Principle that requires the first country of entry to be responsible for the asylum process. Opponents of the Dublin scheme are discussing a basic alternative system which is best known as free choice under which the country of first entry would no longer be responsible and it would be left to the refugees to decide which country to submit their asylum petition in. The SVR describes a third path that brings together elements of the Dublin scheme with the principle of free choice and is designed to restore the CEAS's ability to function which is currently very limited.

About the Expert Council
The SVR is an independent expert council that provides policymakers in the federal government, Laender and municipalities, as well as associations and the interested general public, with research-based and practically oriented recommendations. Its mission is to critically observe, provide unbiased and reliable assessments and offer practically oriented advice. The SVR also takes a stand on current issues of migration and integration policy in an effort to introduce concrete arguments into the political debate or give it new impetus.

The SVR includes nine researchers from different disciplines and research institutes: Prof. Dr. Christine Langenfeld (Chairwoman), Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries (Deputy Chairman) and Prof. Dr. Gianni D’Amato, Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Bauer, Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bos, Prof. Dr. Claudia Diehl (from 2015), Prof. Dr. Heinz Fassmann, Prof. Dr. Christian Joppke (from 2015), Prof. Dr. Yasemin Karakaşoğlu (until 2015), Prof. Dr. Ursula Neumann (until 2015) and Prof. Dr. Hacı Halil Uslucan.

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration is based on an initiative of the Stiftung Mercator and the VolkswagenStiftung and consists of seven member foundations. In addition to the Stiftung Mercator and the VolkswagenStiftung, these are: Bertelsmann Stiftung, Freudenberg Stiftung, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and the Vodafone Foundation Germany.  
Further details about the SVR's work are available at