Though European states have received increasing numbers of immigrants over the past few decades, they have failed to integrate these immigrants as successfully as traditional immigrant-receiving nations such as the United States and Canada. There are undoubtedly many factors that contribute to this differential in integration success rates, but access to education and employment may be the most important. Examining these measures, a recent OECD report found that the children of migrants living in Europe have significantly worse education and labor market outcomes than the children of migrants in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
So what then should we make of German Immigration Commissioner Maria Boehmer’s proposal to address Germany’s integration problem through contracts? Expected to be introduced during the current legislative period, these contracts will explain the services and assistance available to immigrants while requiring immigrants to learn German and avow their support for liberal values such as freedom of expression and equality of women. Dr. Boehmer acknowledges that the key to integrating immigrants is access to schooling and employment markets (the latter through recognition of qualifications from abroad). Read More