Multikulti Ist Doch 'Ne Erfolgreiche Realität: Why Tolerance Is Vital for German Economic Growth

By Campbell, Lauren E. | Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Multikulti Ist Doch 'Ne Erfolgreiche Realität: Why Tolerance Is Vital for German Economic Growth


Campbell, Lauren E., Boston College International and Comparative Law Review


Abstract: In October 2010, German politicians declared that multiculturalism in Germany was no longer viable. That controversial declaration ignited a heated debate, and Germans were forced to address the fact that national immigration policies since World War II had produced one of the largest immigrant populations in Western Europe. Indeed, despite the purported failure of multiculturalism, highly qualified immigrants from non-European Union (EU) countries may be the key to securing German economic growth amidst a global race for talent. Accordingly, this Note explores the intricacies of German and EU policies on economic immigration and integration, which are aimed at attracting these highly qualified immigrants. It argues that, although German immigration legislation targets the right population, its integration procedures may not suffice to attract and retain immigrants. Faced with an aging population, Germany should utilize EU guidelines for integration to establish concrete measures to secure a workable multicultural society.

Introduction

"Multiculturalism has absolutely failed."1 German Chancellor An- gela Merkel uttered these now infamous words at an annual meeting of the Junge Union2 in October 2010, adding fuel to a newly rekindled tinues to discuss the highly contentious topics of immigration and inte- gration in Germany, often focusing on tensions between the native population and Muslim or Arab immigrants.9

Conservative German politicians have seized the opportunity to voice wariness of immigrants and ethnic minorities.10 Horst Seehofer, head of the Christian Social Union,11 has presented one of the more extreme policy recommendations: strict integrationist policies that Union, http://www.junge-union.de/content/junge-union/Struktur/deutschlandtag (last visited May 18, 2012). 3 See Merkel erklärt Multikulti fir gescheitert, supra note 1. German media outlets across the country reported on Merkel's comments, signaling the formation of a truly national debate. See, e.g., Kanzlerin Merkel erklärt Multikulti fir gescheitert, Welt Online (Ger.) (Oct. 16, 2010), http://www.welt.de/politik/ deutschland/articlel0337575/Kanzlerin-Merkel-erklaert-Multi kulti-fuer-gescheitert.html (national magazine); Merkel: "Multi-Kulti ist absolut gescheitert, ''Bild, de (Ger.) (Oct. 17, 2010), http://www.bild.de/politik/2010/politik/ansatz- multi-kulti-ges cheitert-14331238.bild.html (national magazine); Merkel: "Multikulti ist absolut gescheitert," Sueddeutsche.de (Ger.) (Oct. 16, 2010), http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/integration- seehofer-sieben-punkte-plan-gegen-zuwanderung-1.1012736 (Munich); Merkel will von Zu Wanderern mehr fordern, Der Tagesspiegel (Ger.) (Oct. 16, 2010), http://www.tagesspiegel. de/Zeitung/merkel-will-von-zuwanderern-mehr-fordern/1959382.html (Berlin). 4 Thilo Sarrazin, Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir would prohibit further immigration from Turkey and Arab countries.12 Seehofer's Seven-Point Plan for integration is predicated on evaluating potential immigrants based on their readiness and ability to integrate into German society.13 According to Seehofer, immigrants should con- form to the German Leitkultur, a version of German culture founded on "Christianity, humanism, and enlightenment."14 Chancellor Merkel, meanwhile, has taken a more moderate position. While indicating that immigrants should integrate with German culture, she has nonetheless acknowledged that Islam has become a part of Germany.15 And al- though Merkel does not go so far as to suggest preventing the immigra- tion of Muslims, like Seehofer, she calls for stronger integration policies designed to create more "German-like" immigrants and a less multicul- tural society.16 Similarly, German citizens echo this skepticism of multi- culturalism; many believe immigrant minorities threaten the country's stability.17

Others, however, argue that Germany needs immigrant workers to maintain its position as Europe's strongest economy.

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