Migration and Development at the Local Level: „Everyone benefits!“
International engagement is reinforced by the overall increase in importance of the local level in development cooperation, as reflected for instance in the Report on Local Authorities and Development Cooperation published by the European Parliament in 2007. When the heads of government of Germany’s Länder (‘federal states’) met at their annual conference in Dresden in 2008, they adopted a resolution pointing out that responsibility for development cooperation should be shared between the federation, the Länder and the local authorities. This Resolution of the Conference of Minister-Presidents is especially relevant here, because the Länder define the link between migration, integration and development cooperation as one of their key areas of activity.
Mobilising the diaspora living in Germany is seen as an opportunity to step up economic and cultural cooperation with countries of the Global South, and boost the competence of migrants as intermediaries. When the resolution was being drafted, a particular contribution was made by the leading municipal associations in Germany that subsequently issued further and more concrete resolutions and recommendations. The link between migration and development is therefore of interest to municipalities in two respects, because they are actively involved in migration at several points in the process: In partner municipalities, international networks or local initiatives for fair trade or fair procurement they work to mitigate the causes of poverty-induced migration. Within their own boundaries, they strive to help people with and without a migrant background live together in a positive spirit.
- Diaspora engagement