A new study recently revealed that the Germany’s Wilkommenskultur or Welcome Culture might be coming to an end.
Study results: “Refugees Welcome” may be coming to an end
The study conducted by the Mercator Foundation with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) at Bielefeld University aimed to examine the effect of the continued impact of mass migration on German attitudes. The result? Germans have changed quite a bit last year, when men and women were welcoming migrants at train stations, cheering them on, giving out food and other goods.
Researchers found that less than one third of native Germans, or 32.3 percent still agreed with the idea of the “welcome culture” and mass integration into Germany. Germans also feel more strongly about migrants adapting and integrating into German culture. Previously, just 36 percent of Germans said that migrants should adapt German culture. A year later, the Mercator study indicates that number has risen to 53.5 percent.
Interestingly, according to researchers, foreign-born Germans are also starting to feel more strongly towards the migrant crisis. 41 percent said they would like to see the continuation of mass migration. 28 percent said they want it to end entirely. More than 60% of foreign-born Germans surveyed also said that new migrants need to integrate fully into German society.
Perhaps the most indicative data was that 60 percent of participants said that their traditions and values had been completely ignored by mainstream media and politics. Support for the statement “We should pay more attention to avoid being overrun by migrants,” has increased from 28 percent to 41 percent over the past year.
Terror attacks and migrant crime to blame?
The study indicated that two of the largest factors towards a change in attitude are the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels and a migrant crime epidemic. Particularly, the mass sexual assaults committed in Cologne on New Year’s Eve have been attributed the mass migration. North African migrants were largely to blame, increasing doubts about Germany’s ability to integrate refugees.
Interesting, another recently released study has suggested that there is no clear link between refugees and most kinds of crime. The Berlin-based pro-migration group Mediendienst Integration presented a study authored by Münster criminologist Christian Walburg. The study, primarily based on statistics from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, indicates no link between national origin and crime.
Walburg told DW that there “has been no increase in the number of offenses per 100,00 people for the most common types of crimes. However, there had been two areas that had indeed shown significant increases: burglaries and pickpocketing.”
The importance of establishing a welcome culture structure
The study also suggests that when a welcome culture is well developed, the risk of migrant crime is much lower. Walburg says,
“Adult immigrants with access to the labor market or good job prospects seldom register in the crime statistics.”
He also says that the ones at most risk to commit a crime are those who have only a “tolerated” residency status in Germany. One level before deportation, migrants with this status are not eligible for language courses, lack access to society and the labor market. “With their uncertain legal status, they are the most at risk of falling into criminality,” Walburg said.
The study also indicated one area that should be a cause for concern: offenses against refugees. In the first quarter of 2016, attacks against refugee shelters and those thought to be seeking asylum were at high levels.