Integration through social participation
A democratically constituted state cannot function effectively in the long term if it denies large sections of the population opportunities for full participation. We Greens therefore believe that integration is a crucial element of participation and social justice. An immigration country, such as Germany, must not exclude people whose roots lie elsewhere. The acquisition of German citizenship is a key prerequisite for full integration.
That is why we want migrants to be able to acquire German citizenship more quickly and easily. Under the present “options model”, foreign nationals born in Germany must decide between German citizenship and their parents’ citizenship once they have reached the age of 18. This is counterproductive to integration: anyone who has been part of German society from birth should not have to question their allegiance to this country. In the interests of civic participation, non-EU citizens should also have the right to participate in municipal elections.
Genuine equality of opportunity
Education and employment are the basis of independent livelihood security and social participation on the basis of equality. Access to these key areas must be characterised by genuine equality of opportunity. For that reason, we aim
- to improve the quality of integration courses and language promotion in children’s nurseries,
- to utilise multilingual skills as a resource,
- to improve recognition of professional qualifications gained abroad.
Labour migration should be facilitated, not only for the highly skilled but across the board. All immigrant workers should be given the opportunity to extend their stay and made it permanent, and the procedures for this should be simplified. A points system can manage migration in a way which mitigates the impacts of our ageing society.
Refugees and asylum
People who live in Germany for many years but who have merely been granted temporary suspension of deportation should have secure prospects of remaining in Germany for the future. So we want to introduce generous rules governing the right to stay, as the present system is unjust. Most people who have been granted temporary suspension of deportation cannot fulfil the criteria currently in force.
The Asylum Seekers Benefits Act discriminates against asylum-seekers and persons who have been granted temporary suspension of deportation, because it excludes them from accessing social assistance and the basic allowance for jobseekers. The benefits that they receive under the Act only amount to around two-thirds of social assistance. This is an untenable situation which we want to remedy by scrapping the Act.
Countless people try to reach Europe by crossing the sea, putting themselves at great risk. Many do not survive the journey, or are sent back to unsafe third countries before they can apply for asylum. This practice, which is applied by FRONTEX, the EU agency tasked to coordinate operational cooperation in the field of border security, and the EU Member States themselves, violates human rights and the ban on refoulement. The Geneva Refugee Convention must be upheld at Europe’s gates. The northern EU countries should no longer leave the southern European Member States to deal with this problem on their own. They must finally accept a share of the responsibility for the people stranded in Malta, Italy and Greece. We are working to ensure that Germany sets a good example here.