The Local, February 1, 2012
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has unveiled a formal programme designed to increase the number of minorities in public service, calling integration “more urgent than ever.”
Merkel announced a “National Action Plan” at an integration summit in Berlin on Tuesday where more than 100 federal, state and provincial officials gathered to discuss how to attract more people from minority backgrounds into government service.
Although roughly 20 percent of people in Germany are considered to be foreigners or of minority background — but they make up only about 10 percent of public service positions.
Federal officials say there have been significant increases in the number of police and teachers of minority backgrounds in the last few years, but hard numbers are unavailable.
Merkel said government agencies would start setting binding hiring targets and unveiled a new internet portal designed to encourage young people of minority background to go into public service.
“We must become more binding, we have to be clear in our aims,” she said.
But the Green and Left parties said Merkel had taken few concrete steps to improve integration in Germany.
Sevim Dagdelen, the Left’s migration policy spokeswoman in the Bundestag said the summit would “hardly change anything,” saying the government was trying to “divert attention” from failed integration policies.