Immigration and Integration
Integration of people from an immigrant background who live in Merzig is an important task for the municipal authority. At present (January 2013), around 5,600 people with an immigrant background live in Merzig. Of these, just over 2,000 are non-German nationals. The two largest groups are people from Italy and Turkey. The (late) emigrants are another substantial group.
But what does “integration” actually mean? The term refers to a process that has a long tradition in our town and has been going on successfully for hundreds of years. People from different language groups, religions and mentalities have always found ways to live with and alongside one another and to help our town achieve its identity, reputation and prosperity.
Modern Merzig continues this tradition and supports a comprehensive integration concept. We want everyone who lives in our town to be involved in the life of our community and our social processes, regardless of their age, origin, gender or religious beliefs. Only people who “belong” can identify with a community and contribute to their own and everyone’s well-being.
In Merzig, there are a number of initiatives / services to support integration of immigrants. Theses include:
The integration concept was officially presented in December 2012. It proposes specific measures in new areas of activity to be implemented in Merzig to support peaceful coexistence of all inhabitants. The integration officer at the Merzig municipal authority is responsible for implementing the measures.
The immigration services in Merzig assist, advice, look after and support new immigrants and those who have been here for a longer period with their integration into the Merzig community.
Merzig organises various events that promote access to “foreign” cultures. These include the annual inter-cultural week and the culture night.