German elections are around the corner and while expats in Germany normally cannot vote, it’s still fun to pick a candidate to root for. For a quick roundup on what drives this election, watch this video.
One of the most interesting topics for expats is probably immigration and welcoming culture, so here’s what the major parties (ranked according to current polls) have to say on that matter. I have tried to keep it free from value judgement, simply summarising what they state in their electoral manifestos.
The Christian Democrats (CDU) want to make Germany more attractive to highly qualified people and aim to do so with a welcoming culture and sufficient supply of information. They mention having fostered the recognition of foreign degrees. They reject dual citizenship on the grounds of legal complications.
The Social Democrats (SPD) also stress the importance of a welcoming culture. They support dual citizenship and want to achieve communal suffrage for legal residents of five years or longer.
The Greens aim to modernise the right of residence, ease the immigration of professionals and establish a welcoming culture, a.o. with the introduction of a liberal and transparent point-system. They also support dual citizenship.
The Liberals (FDP) point to how they have eased the immigration of professionals and recognition of foreign degrees during their recent years in government. They are in favour of enhancing job seeking visas with point-system immigration regulations modelled after Canada and Australia. They also endorse allowing dual citizenship and communal suffrage after 5 years of legal residence.
The Left want to enforce unselective immigration regardless of how “profitable” the immigrants are, and therefore reject point-system immigration regulations. They advocate multiple citizenship and recognition of foreign degrees and express the opinion that residence permits should not be dependent on social status or knowledge of the German language.
The Pirates are in favour of mobility-friendly visa policies (e.g. to enable people from non-EU countries to work and learn in Germany), want to liberalise residence regulations, support multiple citizenship and communal suffrage, as well as participation in referenda, petitions etc. for all residents, regardless of citizenship. They also demand a facilitated recognition of foreign degrees and more intercultural openness of authorities, e.g. in the form of multilingual documents and websites.