Towards a cosmopolitan and diverse Germany

Integration Summit Towards a cosmopolitan and diverse Germany

The focus of the 10th Integration Summit at the Federal Chancellery was on solidarity between people with and without a migrant background. A successful example of how integration can succeed: a football field in Berlin. The girls in the SV Rot-Weiß Viktoria 08 Mitte show off their skills in front of the Chancellor.

Participants in the round-table meeting at the 10th Integration Summit

Integration Summit at the Federal Chancellery: the focus was on solidarity in German society.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

Work on integration is very important for the club. Rot-Weiß is an accredited centre for the "Integration through Sport" programme.

"It was very impressive, and a positive reminder of the key role that sport plays in integration," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And: "All those who have contributed to the success here deserve our heartfelt thanks."

Integration Summit at the Federal Chancellery

During the subsequent Integration Summit, the Chancellor and the other participants tackled fundamental questions: Which values are important to us? What does homeland mean? How can we strengthen democracy and solidarity, and how can we ensure participation? An Integration Action Plan, to be developed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Integration, Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz, will provide some of the answers to these questions.

National Integration Action Plan

The aim is to recognise what has been achieved, to consolidate integration measures, and to adjust where necessary. States and municipalities, civil society and migrants’ organisations should all be active participants. The process will run for the entire legislative period.

"Much has been achieved with integration, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us," said Widmann-Mauz. All phases of integration must be taken into consideration, and offers better coordinated. "Immediately after arrival, we need courses to convey values and expectations, regardless of length of stay and status," said the Commissioner for Integration.

Additional goals include more quality, and more working together instead of in parallel. "All those who live here must be able to contribute their potential. We must support this, but also demand it," said Widmann-Mauz.

Respect and live shared values

After the summit, the Chancellor said: "To live together in harmony, the first priority is to ensure equal opportunities for participation - in the broadest possible sense." This starts with job applications, where different names should make no difference. It continues with education, the job market, and access to public service, according to Merkel.

It is important to stand up for what we believe in. Freedom, respect for the dignity of all human beings, and respect for the rule of law, the equality of men and women - these are fundamental values that guide us, and without which social solidarity is unthinkable, according to the Chancellor.

Merkel made the point very clear: "Some rules are non-negotiable." The free democratic principles apply to everyone, regardless of origin or length of stay. It was agreed that breaking the law could not be tolerated. "We want to be a cosmopolitan and diverse Germany," said Merkel.

Contribute to society

If living together in harmony is to succeed, we must not lose sight of those who have already lived here for a very long time. But we must also consider those who have recently joined us. It is not only a matter of participation. "It is also about many people making an active contribution to society, and helping to shape it," said Merkel.

Since 2006, the Federal Chancellery has regularly hosted the Integration Summit. This provides a forum for representatives of the federal states, business, trade unions and migrants’ organisations to discuss how solidarity can be strengthened in German society.