A net record of 429,000 immigrants arrived in Germany in 2013 alone, making it the second most favored place of immigration after the United States. According to Aktiv Zeitung, an publication of the German metal industry, 500,000 more are expected this year. (And yet, Germany does not see itself as a country of immigrants.)
The majority of these immigrants settle in the larger metropolitan areas (or “Ballungsgebiete“) like Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main. And they are quite skilled. Between 2001 and 2011, almost 30% of immigrants to Germany had a University degree (compared to 16% a decade earlier).
For Bavaria, perhaps not surprisingly, the largest single immigrant group in 2013 was the Romanians. 13,000 of the 83,600 immigrants to Bavaria came from Romania. At the federal level, Romania still ranks second after Poland. Despite public perception and the usual “pub talk”, the German economy desperately needs these people, and they add to growth. Fact: only 1% of welfare recipients in Germany are Romanian or Bulgarian – a negligible amount! Most arrive in Germany having already received a job offer.
Simultaneously, statistics show a worrying effect of this labor force migration on the Romanian economy. There is a 42% shortage of medical staff, while technical workers and craftsmen are all but missing from the Romanian labor market, creating huge problems for local companies.
On the plus side, the Romanian diasporas are gradually becoming better organized, more self-confident and making their voices heard.
The “Rumänische KulturTage“, a Romanian cultural event happening in Munich between 9.10-9.11.2014, is already in its 15th year. And on October 1st, a new Romanian-language newspaper, “Ziarul Romanesc din Germania” or “Zeitung der Rumänen in Deutschland (ZRD)” was launched and is being distributed for free through local associations, churches, transport agencies and consulates. It tackles political and economic topics, including information about new legislation and regulations regarding migrants in Germany.
Sources: Aktiv in Bayern (www.aktiv-online.de) 43. J., Ausgabe 11, ZRD 1. J, 1. Ausgabe