Two systems, one challenge: Integration in cities in Germany and France

June 25, 2018


On 25 June 2018, the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) organised a joint Policy Lab for its members France and Germany. It took place in Strasbourg and was organised in cooperation with the French General Commissariat for Territorial Equality (CGET) and the German Federal Ministry for the Interior, Building and Community on the theme of migrants and refugees' integration in cities in both countries.

Bringing together experts and actors from various level of governance, this Policy Lab aimed at fostering a multilevel dialogue as well as supporting local initiatives through case study workshops. Integration policies are central in the French-German political agenda, and the French-German Integration Council which gathers numerous stakeholders is already working on strengthening cross-national cooperation by exchanging good practices and finding common solutions on such a complex topic.

As a starting point for this event, Claire Charbit (OECD) presented the immigration context in Europe, with the OECD report "Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees" as a support. The first roundtable gathered national stakeholders on the topic of national integration policies and local integration. The second roundtable focused on cities' actions and their interaction with other levels of governance. The discussions enabled to shed light on the two main urban policies in France and Germany, the so-called "Politique de la Ville" and "Soziale Stadt" in view of integration issues in cities.

Four themes have been further investigated as part of dedicated workshops: access to rights and anti-discrimination; language acquisition; urban renewal and citizen participation; and economic integration. Local projects from France and Germany were presented followed by discussions with the participants. The EUKN Policy Lab provided the opportunity to foster the exchange of knowledge and good practices on integration policies. The full report on the outcomes and findings of this Policy Lab will soon be available.