The Expert Council is an independent academic monitoring, evaluation and advisory committee that focuses on issues related to integration and migration policies. Its mission is to provide research-based and pragmatic policy advice. The interdisciplinary Expert Council is made up of nine academics. Based on nominations proposed by a committee that is chaired by Professor Dr. Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Bundestag, the nine experts are appointed by the foundations.

The members of the Expert Council present the Annual Report 2015 (Rights: Michael Setzpfand) The members of the Expert Council present the Annual Report 2015 (Rights: Michael Setzpfand)

The Expert Council is an independent, scientific monitoring, evaluation and advisory committee that focuses on issues relating to integration and migration. Its basic intention is to provide practice-oriented political consulting based on research. The members of the Expert Council are nine academics from different disciplines and fields of research. The nine experts were proposed by a nomination committee chaired by former President of the German Bundestag Professor Dr. Rita Süssmuth and appointed by the foundations.

What are the objectives?

The Expert Council takes a stand on issues relating to integration and migration policies, provides critical policy support as well as research-based, practically oriented recommendations. The Expert Council provides the general public with objective and politically impartial information about social and political developments in Germany. In this way, it strives to add new impulses to the public debate on integration and migration.

What are the activities of the Expert Council?

  • It publishes an annual report that always focuses on a specific topic related to integration and/or migration.
  • It provides pragmatic political consulting and critically evaluates policies concerning the promotion of integration and immigration control.
  • It monitors the development and estimation of integration and migration (immigration and emigration), also in an international comparison.

Annual Reports 2010 – 2015

An “Integration Barometer” or a “Migration Barometer” is alternately prepared for every annual report: people with and without an immigrant background are asked about integration and migration. The “Integration Barometer” measures the integration climate in Germany. An integration climate index has been developed for this purpose.

In its 2015 Annual Report, the experts compared Germany’s major migration and integration policies with those of 12 countries around the world. The Annual Report shows: Despite having a reputation of straggling behind, Germany in fact is a pioneer in some areas of migration policy. This is true, for example, in the area of “migration management and promotion of integration”. In connection with refugees and asylum seekers, the experts recommend a package of both short-term and long-term measures.

For more information on the “Annual Report 2015”, please go to: content/uploads/2015/07/SVR_JG_2015_WEB.pdf

The Annual Report 2014 assesses “Germany’s transition to a modern immigration country” over the past five years. In summary: Clear-cut progress has been made in migration and integration policy. So, for example, the legislation reflects the “transition from a restrictive to a liberal immigration country”. Nonetheless, there still is no “overall strategy for immigration”. Unfortunately, the government did not tackle the major political challenges arising in connection with refugees and there still is a “considerable amount of work to be done” in the field of education. The third Integration Barometer interviewed about 6,000 persons with and without an immigration background about their perceptions of the integration climate, intercultural openness, institutional equality of Islam and religious diversity. A positive result is that there is no pessimism related to integration in Germany; however, worrisome are the predominantly negative attitudes towards the Roma people and the refusal to let more refugees come to Germany.

For more information on the “Annual Report 2014”, please go to:

The 2013 Annual Report and Migration Barometer asked “Is Europe a success story? Consequences and challenges of the free movement of persons within the EU.” In other words, it studied the mobility and solidarity within the EU. The new immigrants from EU member states are better qualified and younger than claimed; as a matter of fact, the number of highly qualified persons among them is higher than in the host population. The frequently expressed fears that the expansion of the EU would lead to migration out of poverty and endanger the German social welfare system have not proven true. The Migration Barometer 2013 shows that both people with and without an immigrant background express high social solidarity with other EU citizens who are unemployed in Germany.

For more information on the Annual Report 2013, please go to:

Who is financing the Expert Council?

  • Bertelsmann Foundation, Gütersloh
  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart
  • Stifterverband for German Science, Essen
  • Stiftung Mercator, Essen
  • Vodafone Foundation, Düsseldorf
  • Volkswagen Foundation, Hannover

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting the Expert Council?

The Freudenberg Foundation was involved in setting up the Expert Council because it provides research-based, politically impartial, objective and multi-perspective examination of integration and migration. This kind of information had not been available before. Moreover, this form of cooperation among foundations is exemplary. In addition, the Freudenberg Foundation supports the Expert Council because it conveys important information and thought-provoking impulses to policymakers and civil society.

Dr. Cornelia Schu
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