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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Immigration and integration: What can Britain and Germany learn from each other?

Join IPPR and FES for this event on migration and integration in Britain and Germany.

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Immigration has become the top political issue in Europe’s two biggest economies. Neither Britain nor Germany is new to migration, having welcomed new arrivals for over sixty years. But numbers are now at historic highs.

The debate in both countries has tended recently to focus on how to stop furtherimmigration. But even if new arrivals can be controlled, high number of migrants in the overall population is now a fact of life. We urgently need a long-term approach, that promotes integration and balances the concerns of the resident population.

This seminar will reflect on what the two countries can learn from each other regarding experiences on migrant integration. Germany now has a large refugee population to integrate, and Britain has a long history of settling high numbers of migrants over time. 2002 the SPD-Green government not only recognized Germany as a country of immigration for the first time, but introduced integration legislation to give migrants a path to citizenship. Yet today, hostility to immigration is high in both countries.

Speakers will include:

  • Rt Hon. Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Labour MP for Barking, former minister and former Chair of the Public Accounts Committee
  • Dr. Olaf Kleist, Senior Researcher at Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, Universität Osnabrück
  • Anette Dittert, Senior correspondent for German TV NDR Hamburg (Tbc)

The seminar will explore the following subjects:

  • What can Britain and Germany learn from each other on integrating migrants?
  • What lessons can be learned on politics shaping integration with instruments such as citizenship policies or refugee distribution?
  • What is the role for progressives, inside and outside government, to influence the narrative and address public concerns on migration?


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