A senior parliamentarian from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party has spoken out in favour of a deal with migrants which would emphasise the give and take nature of immigration, urging ‘integration contracts’.
Under the proposal put forward by Bundestag member and CDU group vice chair Nadine Schön, who has also campaigned for full homosexual marriage in Germany, migrants would sign a contract upon their arrival in Germany.
In return for the German state promising to “protect and promote” migrants, they would be expected to accept values like sexual equality, learning German, and keeping religion out of the political sphere. Ms. Schön hopes adhering to these three points can promote integration, she said in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel.
This is not the first attempt within Germany to suggest migrants be entered into a contract with the state to foster integration. Rhineland-Palatinate presidential hopeful Julia Klöckner suggested a similar scheme at state-level as part of her election campaign, calling for the unemployment benefits of migrants should be cut if they don’t meet the integration rules, reports the Huffington Post Deutschland.
Ms. Klöckner expressed concern that with mass migration without effective integration, the very essence of Germany was under threat. She said: “We are a liberal and free country if we give up the very foundations of our liberality, we wake up somewhere else”.
Germany might take inspiration from Denmark, which has already introduced similar reforms to their own welfare system. Migrants are now forbidden from claiming the same unemployment benefits as born Danes, and instead can take ‘integration benefit’, which is only worth half as much a month.
In return for the payment, migrants have to take Danish lessons – and if they don’t keep up with the learning, their benefits are cut even further. The new system was introduced by Denmark’s centre-right government, voted in to replace the left wing coalition led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt until June this year.
While the restricted payments were initially only applied to migrants who arrived after the election, this was soon extended to all foreigners, no matter how long they had lived in Denmark. To hammer the point home to migrants that they couldn’t expect an easy ride in Denmark, integration minister Inger Støjberg took out adverts in foreign newspapers warning foreigners about the change.