On 25 May 2016, Germany have adopted the first integration law.
As a former expat, I'm very positive about the fact that it gives at least some guidance to what it takes to be an "integrated" citizen. In the past it was handled non-uniformly /optionally / with no negative effect if ignored - and many got away by avoidance or simply ignoring the rules (in expectation of self-enforcement/ self-discipline). 15 years ago I was suprised that even the citizens had difficult to express what made them proud of themselves or their culture or European values.
Core points of the new law :
1) Integration and Language course - In contrast to the past - an expat can be obliged to attend a language course, independent of external factors (like whether the spouse are fluent or not). Failure to do so, will reduce benefits or merits
2) Now changed from a) automatic residency to b) dependency on keeping a job for 2 years and passing the language test
3) Avoidance of Ghettos'/closed groups/isolation : to avoid social hot spots, people of similiar background can be dispersed over many towns for a limited time (non-optional)
4) Work and Training : Now a EU citizen have no priority to get an available job, should the asylum seeker choose to apply for the same job. Previously, a citizen had priority.
Especially point 3) and 4) might create long term animosity with the locals/expat/asylant if not handled transparently/senstivitely.
Ideally one would see 3) as probably the most visible sign of non-integration right over the world.
Hence I would welcome a credit system for balanced integration beyond sleeping in a particular location as enforced by 3)
One step of many future to come?
The Private Schools (IB) have an excellent example of how to foster social engagement (non-optional) for high-school graduates called C.A.S, that functions well for both disiplined as well as less-disciplined individuals :
From which we can take a few hints. It consists of measuring social engagement on 3 axis :
Creativity (C), Action (A) and Service (S).
50 hours must be contributed in one year for each C. A. S. (3% of available time, holidays excluded)
read more here : http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-p … d-service/ or http://www.harrisoncsd.org/docs/academi … _Guide.pdf
Here the focus should be to interact informally on a one-to-one/many basis towards a native German (ie not in the us-them bundles), which will be credited every hour (max 1 hour per day) and reported seperately by particpant and observer :
Creativity : attending / participating town/local festivals, painting (organized improvement ie train stations, painting backdrops for local plays), translation, giving music lessons,...
Action : participation in a sport verein running, swimming, cutting trees, clearing snow, maintaining parks etc.
Service : tutoring, nursing home visits, service-oriented clubs, helping elderly neighbors, accompanying/supporting teachers on field trips, grocery shopping,
or many other areas close to heart of the being Europeans & Germans :
Nature and Animal protection
Democray and Civil Rights
Migration and Living Together (ie integrating a student heim)
Disabilities and community participation
Religious diversity training (overview provided by imcumbent practioners, including a tract for atheism, etc)
Economy (buying selling/ paying tax)
International and work abroad (ie helping out in flooded areas)
Care of the Sick (Hospital / Clinics)
Support of homeless (support in soup kitchen)/ care of addicts
Sport & Leisure
all of the above always in German or the official language of that region if requested (Danish, Sorbian, Frisian)
Since CAS builds a balanced individual it will also counteract locals misuse the opportunity to have cheap labour.
conversely I belief some German community members should be able to claim tax rebates (ehrenamtlich) for incentiviting social engagement and collaboration (to a upper limit) but with certain respective duties.
What do you think? Are there maybe more efficient ways to foster and claim.