A German model of support for Fellow citizens
Nowadays, the concepts like "Diaspora", "Fellow citizens abroad", "Voluntary resettlement" have acquired a new meaning in the context of objective process of migration around the world. Many countries of the world have been able to assess the possibility of pursuing their interests as a comprehensive tool for informational and cultural influence through the development of policies to support ethnic communities abroad and the use of "Soft power". Kazakhstanis know the need to support ethnic Kazakhs and their fellow citizens abroad. Kazakhs living abroad understand this.
A study of modern international experience is quite ahead of us in solving the problem of state support of fellow citizens from many countries abroad. They have adopted state programs to support ethnic groups, voluntary resettlement and repatriation.
On the basis of the research of "Fellow citizens fund" of the NJSC projects, we would like to give you a brief overview of the experience of the Federal Republic of Germany in the field of state support of ethnic Germans.
The main legislative act, aimed at encouraging and supporting the return of German fellow citizens abroad, was written in German Law on Deportees and Refugees, adopted in 1953 (Gesetz über die Angelegenheiten der Vertriebenen und Flüchtlinge (Bundesvertrieben) BVFG)).
A translation of this law can be found on the Internet under the heading "On destitute and refugees" or various other names. However, a current member of Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany, our fellow citizen Heinrich Zertik, stressed the need to translate the name of the law "On Deportees and Refugees” at the meeting with representatives of "Fellow citizens fund" of the NJSC projects.
This law has undergone a number of changes and additions so far, and the main changes were made in 2013.
A main content of the law is an admission of "Russian Germans” to Germany, who were persecuted, deported and lost their property during the Second World War and the postwar years.
A law defines "Russian Germans" as the Germans of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and their descendants as well. A group term «Russian Germans» includes all ethnic Germans living in the post-Soviet space. Kazakh Germans are also included into this category.
The law stipulates that the decision to accept a migrant is not limited in time. It means that the documents will not lose their validity and will have stored for 20 years or more. Therefore, this law places a great emphasis on language requirements for the "next immigrant" (as all ethnic Germans in Germany live in the Soviet Union), and the level of German proficiency must be relevant regardless of the application deadline. This is an indication of the careful attitude of German society to the knowledge of mother tongue.
A concern of German society for the future of the nation is reflected in this respect for the mother tongue. The Germans understand clearly that the future of the nation lies not only in the existence of natural active individuals, but also in the cultural, humanitarian and spiritual replenishment of their consciousness, which is possible only through the native language.
Amendments in German law were obtained on the basis of previous applications and even after the refusals have entered into force, they allow applications for re-admission of a migrant.
It should also be noted that the provisions of the law on the complete exemption of persons recognized as incapable or with limited legal capacity from the need to confirm their knowledge of German language are considered as the signs of high morality. The same principle applies to those who are unable to learn the language and pass the test due to certain diseases.
Another important innovation in German law is that all family members are no longer required to travel to Germany at the same time. According to the previous provision of this law, if the head of the family, the applicant moved to Germany for the permanent residence, the applicant would not apply for family members to receive the status of "Subsequent immigrant". It was not possible to further still include family members in the application. Now family members, who would like to join, have the right to apply for an inclusion in the initial statement, regardless of where the head of the family lives. Such application may be filed by the spouse, children, parents, as well as other descendants of the subsequent resettlement.
Innovations in the law are primarily aimed at improving the legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the field of state support of the fellow citizens abroad. It has strengthened the role of all government agencies involved in the implementation of migration policy, as well as the Commissioner for Migration Affairs, who works at the ministerial level throughout the federal territory of Germany.
In the absence of a specially authorized body in the field of ethnic repatriation in Kazakhstan, the Germans have a stable solution to the problem of ethnic migration, even at the local level (in our country at the regional level).
In Germany, there is still a Friedland camp for the adaptation of migrants. A camp`s director, Heinrich Hernschemayer, who has been in the post since 1991, has not only spoken about the camp's activities, but also about living conditions of the later settlers. He noted that the influx of ethnic Germans from the former Soviet republics has decreased in recent years, while the number of migrants from economically and politically disadvantaged countries has increased significantly.
A study of Germany's experience in the repatriation and state support of ethnic Germans has shown that in addition to government support, migrants were supported by a number of non-governmental organizations that played an active role in their lives and activities. Some of them are:
- Otto Benek Foundation: has been operating since 1965, funded by the state, helps young professionals - post-immigrants and their families to retrain and find work. For the first time, migrants will meet with representatives of the fund in Friedland;
- Gerhard Hauptmann's house: the main area of work - the organization of German language courses, employment of migrants, counseling, social and other assistance;
- A Christian section of the Bonn Bible Seminar (BSB) was founded in 1946 by settlers. A majority of managers and employees are post-migrants, the majority of whom are not only staff, but also students (mostly children of migrants and migrants to Germany), they were able to create a library in the history of the settlers in Germany;
- Internationale unternehmensgruppe Monolith International Trade Company: specializes in the production and sale of goods, mainly cooperates with CIS countries, especially the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan. A majority of workers are ethnic Germans from the CIS. An area of activity of the company – an employment of immigrants to Germany;
- Berlin Migrant Assistance Center: a building with state-funded infrastructure. The building is adapted for resettlement, provides necessary information on important social issues, social conditions and leisure, provides assistance in employment;
- The Federal Youth Organization of the "Russian Germans" in Germany and the Berlin Integration House (Lira e.V.) are registered as non-profit organizations under the Berlin Employment Center. Its main function is to assist young people in education and employment.
There are other organizations as well. It is impossible to meet with all German non-profit organizations that support ethnic migrants, they are a lot and it takes time.
In this regard, it seems necessary to compare them. “Fellow citizens fund” NJSC is the only organization established and supported by the state in Kazakhstan. However, the competencies and resources given to this organization are not comparable to the capabilities of similar organizations in Germany.
In the process of comparison, Kazakhstan is definitely a young state that has recently gained a sovereignty, and it has no experience, and so on. However, in the case of Germany, it can be explained that country had experienced a post-war crisis, division of the country and other terrible tragedies. However, they do not impose any restrictions on supporting their fellow citizens and restoring historical justice to their Germans.
A German experience shows that the issues of state support for the fellow citizens abroad, as well as the issues of ethnic repatriation cannot be resolved successfully without participation of government officials, without effective government documents aimed at regulating relations in this area.
Most importantly, it is difficult to implement this policy without public figures who can make bold decisions and take responsibility in the public administration system.
Nowadays, Kazakhstani society is seriously concerned about the outflow of national staff and youth. There are enough reasons that everyone knows about it. In this regard, I believe that the state and society should pay a suitable attention to the issue of voluntary resettlement of ethnic Kazakhs in Kazakhstan.
This requires the main political documents such as a state program and a special legal act aimed at regulating the state support and ethnic repatriation of fellow citizens abroad. Without the adoption of these important state documents, it will be impossible to achieve a success in the field of state support and ethnic repatriation of fellow citizens abroad. In order to understand this, it is enough to pay attention to the experience of other countries.
Nurkhan ZHALIYEV, Managing Director of the Information Analysis Department of “Fellow citizens fund”