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Baden-Württemberg in the EU: What are the factors that contribute to the successful integration of migrants into our European societies?


On February 14, 2023, the Representation of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union organised the conference “What are the factors that contribute to the successful integration of migrants into our European societies?” Baden-Württemberg has long been committed to integrating third-country nationals into their region, with one out of three inhabitants coming from a migration background. Against this backdrop, the event welcomed high-level practitioners and policymakers to share the practical experience of welcoming migrants in the region.

Integration Management in Baden-Württemberg: a Federal best practice

A key takeaway from the event was the innovative nature of the region’s Integration Management approach. Dr Ute Leidig MP, State Secretary for Social Affairs, Health and Integration of the State of Baden-Württemberg, discussed the long migration history that the region, Germany and the EU have had. Dr Ute stated that the central question that guides the region integration policy is “How can we ensure that newly arrived migrants can become part of society?”. Dr Ute went on to discuss the innovative Integration Management programme in Baden-Württemberg, the largest funding program in the field of integration in the region, with a budget of 58 million euros a year. The programme has been recognised federally for its excellent results. The programme funds 1200 “Integration Managers” across the region, who support refugees in their integration into everyday life. Depending on the needs, they advise and refer to existing regular services. An individual integration plan is drawn up with each refugee, in which goals are formulated and the steps taken to achieve them are recorded.

Providing experience from a practitioner’s view, Kahrin Haas, Head of Office, Office for Integration, Landratsamt Karlsruhe, described the key factors for the success of the Integration Management approach: targeted and territorial offer that is available across all municipalities; excellent overview of the status of integration of each individual; wide dataset that is shared with the social ministry and targeted services. Ms. Haas also placed a special emphasis on the benefits of targeted integration services for underrepresented groups, notably women. Within the Integration Network of Baden Württemberg, a group is devoted to empowering women with a migration history.

Transnational cooperation for continued improvements

Within the EARLALL network, the region of Baden-Württemberg is leading the Working Group on Guidance and Ageing Societies and has engaged in various international projects about integrating third-country nationals into the labour market, project TALENTS – Regional and local measures to develop the potential of refugees (2016-2019) and FIER – Fast Track Integration in European Regions (2018-2019). In Spring 2024, the Association of the Folk High Schools in Baden-Württemberg will be joining the Interreg Europe project SALAM – Sustainable Accessibility to the Labour Market. The project will run for four years and will allow partners to address their policies in this field, exchange with one another and test possible solutions.