IQ Congress 2016

Within the context of recently arrived refugees, the second IQ Congress was an opportunity to further advance the discussion on the future of migrant integration in Germany, a topic which already defined the IQ Congress 2014.

Date: 06. and 07. December 2016
Location: bcc Berlin Congress Centre, Alexanderstr. 11, 10178 Berlin
Participants: approx. 600 people


Tuesday Dezember 06
11:00 - 12:30 AM

Panel 1: Narrating Germany – On the Self-Image of an Immigration Country

In 2016, the German society was deliberating on how it can and how it wants to structure the arrival of refugees, while at the same time engaging in parallel discourses. These included very different facets: complaints about a cumbersome administration within the context of a highly complex Residence Act, but also the democratic strength created by (new) civil society actors, which exerted considerable pressure on politics over several months. Moreover, politically radicalised opinion leaders were becoming more prominent through the channels provided by social media, while curious voices from abroad are following developments in Germany and stylising them into their role model. Lastly, migration researchers and scholars pointed at the integration performance of Germany and almost unanimously debate the 'how' – but no longer the 'whether' – of Germany as a future migration society.
Key questions were: Which factors currently influence the understanding of diversity and difference in Germany? How is the 'ability to integrate' into society, which directly influences society‘s willingness to receive refugees and migrants, defined? How are stakeholders from the fields of politics, business, the judiciary and demographics positioning themselves? Who is promoting the necessary conflict resolution skills to structure these negotiation processes within society? What are the key challenges and initial answers for the fields of education and the labour market?

Tuesday Dezember 06
1:30 - 3:00 Am

Panel 2: Refugees on the Job Market – Long-Term Strategies for Sustainable Integration

The immigration of refugees has dominated the integration debate in Germany and Europe in 2015 and 2016. The global public is watching Europe with great interest as to how it will handle the sharply risen rates of refugee migration. By now, the debate focusses not only on accommodation and initial care, but also on questions of labour market integration and related topics. Education, participation, the recognition of foreign qualifications and the related question of employment that matches these qualifications are important points for the discussion on longterm integration. The panel aims to provide impulses for the national and international debate, the political process, and practical integration work. Its objectives are to survey figures, facts, and background information and to compare different integration models on the basis of selected case studies from Canada and Germany.

Wednesday Dezember 07
9:00 - 10:30 AM

Panel 3: Decent Work for All – Between the Law and Reality

This panel discussed the opportunities and challenges of labour market integration faced by immigrants in Germany. It aimed to identify changes and requirements with regard to the rapid and - in particular - 'good and fair' labour market integration of immigrants and thereby reduce existing discrimination on the labour market - both in terms of access and in the workplace itself. The differing perspectives of employers and employees were highlighted. At the same time, the panellists pointed to opportunities and risks as well as discussed possible solutions on the structural and on the operational level.

Wednesday Dezember 07
11:00 - 12:30 AM

Panel 4: Migration in the Media – Between Propaganda and Neutrality

The arrival of large numbers of refugees in Germany since the summer of 2015 ignited a heated debate on the topic of migration. The issue was debated, analysed, and presented on the front pages of magazines and newspapers, by television news channels, in special reports, on the radio, and in social media channels almost daily. As the numbers of immigrants increased, broad swathes of the media swiftly adjusted to the rapid change in public sentiment: from a culture of welcome to a culture of suspicion. Considering the immigration situation back then, the panel discussed how the depiction of displacement and migration in the media influences public perception and directs political debates. What responsibility do the media have, and how are they handling this responsibility? Which factors influence media professionals, and what pressures and risks are they exposed to?

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