Germany’s Secret Success: Turning Immigration Into a Nonissue

B.erlin—A visitor wanted to find out about the upcoming elections here: How would migration worries affect the result? They would not, replied his host, because migration was not an issue in the elections.

Germany, a country with that third largest population of refugees in the world will hold parliamentary elections on September 26th to decide who will succeed Angela Merkel. Many politicians and experts predicted that Merkel’s decision to accept asylum seekers in Germany – 1.7 million between 2015 and 2017 – would damage her politically.

On the eve of her retirement, however, after 16 years at the helm of Germany, she remains one of the most respected political leaders in the world; in 2020, 81 percent of Germans expressed confidence that they would do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. And all three candidates fighting for their successor – from the center-right CDU / CSU (their party), the center-left SPD, to the Greens – assure the voters in a way that they will carry on their legacy will. From September 3rd, easy 13 percent of voters said they consider migration an important issue.

Within Germany, the settlement of refugees who have arrived since 2015 is relatively consistently rated and rated as successful. In 2020, more than the half of those who fled to Germany from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Iran and other countries had found work. Three quarters of the refugees according to a Study 2020 felt by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees as “welcome” or “very welcome”. And until 2017, 55 percent of Germans said they had contributed to the integration of refugees in some ways, some through community-based support activities.

So why do only a few people outside of Germany know about this success?

I don’t live in Germany, but I spend a lot of time there. And in the UK (where I live) or the United States (where I come from) I am often offered a narrative that I know is wrong: that Germany’s admission of refugees was a mistake and that the extreme right is supported The Alternative for Germany (AfD) then shot up.


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