Ethnic Germans and immigrants on better terms than expected

Germany often comes under attack for its allegedly poor integration of immigrants and the existence of so-called parallel societies. But a study released this week by a new think tank refutes the country’s bad reputation — at least partially.

It is no cause for wild celebration — but nor is there much reason to complain. According to Klaus Bade, a leading German researcher on immigration, the co-existence of ethnic Germans and immigrants is often unjustly portrayed in a negative light. But a study released this week in Berlin by the immigration think tank that Bade chairs, refutes some of these criticisms. On Wednesday, the Expert Advisory Board for Integration and Migration (SVR), which was founded in 2008 by eight major foundations involved in social and political advocacy and research, released its first annual report.

The report contains what the board calls the Integration Climate Index (IKI) which basically measures successful relations between ethnic Germans and immigrants. The forecast, according to the SVR? Sunny and warm. “Despite some problematic areas, integration in Germany is a social and political success,” Bade said at the launch of the report. “Compared to other nations, things are actually a lot better here than they are reputed to be inside the country.”