Immigration and integration are two sides of the same coin. In order to be able to successfully integrate migrants living in Germany we need transparent policies on controlling and restricting immigration. One of the main emphases of the work of the German Government is the integration of foreigners living in Germany. It is one of the key tasks of our time.
There are currently some 15 million people with a migrant background living in Germany. Integrating them is of importance for the whole of society. Key issues are language instruction, education and integration into the labour market.
In a government policy statement the German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that: "Germany is a tolerant and outward-looking country. Germany is also a country which cherishes its traditions and culture. The one cannot be achieved without the other. For a sense of belonging provides support in these times of very rapid change. Every individual needs it, as does our country as a whole."
However, the Chancellor also made it very clear that there is no room for parallel societies in which the fundamental values which govern life in our country are not respected.
The German Government has appointed Maria Böhmer as the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. The Federal Government Commissioner has an independent, advisory function to the German Government, which she supports in developing its integration policy and in promoting the co-existence between foreigners and Germans. The Federal Government Commissioner is officially a Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery. This indicates the importance the German Government attaches to integration.