Aydan Özoguz dismissed last year’s Integration Summit as a “nice little tea party” complete with “nice photo opportunities” and “warm words.” That was before the Social Democrat (SPD) politician of Turkish descent joined the federal government herself. Now she’s integration commissioner, and on Monday she and Chancellor Angela Merkel were joint hosts of the summit, an annual meeting that focuses on intergrating people with migrant backgrounds.
“We made good progress,” Ms. Özoguz said following the gathering of 110 delegates in the chancellery in Berlin, adding that much work still remained.
Participants of the seventh such summit had restricted themselves to a relatively narrow agenda: vocational training for immigrant families. The round of discussions under Ms. Özoguz didn’t produce any tangible results, but two things were apparent.
While the past summits were often overshadowed by conflicts between the government and migrant associations, discussions are now “increasingly harmonious,” said Nihat Sorgec of the Kreuzberger Bildungswerk, a Berlin-based service provider for vocational education.