Posted on March 29, 2016

Germany Plans New Refugee Integration Demands

Sky News, March 29, 2016

The German government plans to introduce a new law that will require refugees in the country to integrate into society and learn German or face losing their permanent right of residence.

The interior minister said: “For those who refuse to learn German, for those who refuse to allow their relatives to integrate–for instance women or girls–for those who reject job offers: for them, there cannot be an unlimited settlement permit after three years.”

Thomas de Maiziere, from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, also said he wanted to see refugees contributing to German society.

And he called for “a link between successful integration and the permission for how long one is allowed to stay in Germany”.

The draft proposal comes after the CDU suffered heavy losses in this month’s regional elections, which were seen as a test of support for the government’s policy of accommodating refugees.

Many voters instead opted for the anti-refugee Alternative for Germany party, which Chancellor Merkel had accused of stoking “prejudices and divisions.”

One million migrants arrived in Germany last year, many fleeing the conflict in Syria, and Mr De Maziere said around 100,000 more had arrived since the new year.

The new law has been welcomed by Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel who told a German newspaper: “We must not only support integration but demand it.”

In January, Austria announced refugees refusing to attend integration courses or learn German could see their benefits cut.

The German government proposals could come into place from May.