Berlin markets citizenship to young immigrants

11th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 January 2006, BERLIN - The Berlin Senate has launched a campaign aimed at encouraging young immigrants to take German citizenship.

11 January 2006

BERLIN - The Berlin Senate has launched a campaign aimed at encouraging young immigrants to take German citizenship.

"We want to strengthen the young people's feeling of belonging and encourage them, through receiving German citizenship, to actively participate in social decision-making processes," said the commissioner for integration and migration, Günter Piening, in remarks quoted by the Berlin daily Die Welt.

In Berlin, as in the rest of Germany, the numbers of immigrants applying for German citizenship has dropped in recent years. Even when they had the right to naturalisation, many immigrants did not see the necessity to apply for German citizenship as the procedure was seen as long-winded and complicated.

In districts of the capital such as Mitte, Neukölln or Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, around a quarter of the population does not have German citizenship. As citizenship is tied to voting rights, "this group cannot promote their interests," said Piening.

The campaign will begin in March and use the slogan "Du PASST zu mir" ("You are right for me"), which puns on the German word "Paß" meaning passport or identity card. Billboards and radio advertisements will feature young immigrants who have received German citizenship and who will explain the benefits of naturalisation to their peers.

"Finally the Berlin Senate have started a naturalisation campaign," commented Green party politician Özcan Mutlu. "This way a signal will be sent from the capital that naturalisation as a symbol of integration is desired."

Copyright Expatica News 2006

Subject: German news, German citizenship, naturalisation

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