Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure DE-2022-9/2305 – measures in Germany
|Country||Germany , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 24 February 2022|
|Context||War in Ukraine|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
|Author||Sandra Vogel (IW)|
|Measure added||17 May 2022 (updated 27 February 2023)|
Against the background of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU Ministers of the Interior to activate the so-called Mass Influx Directive on 4 March 2022. Due to this decision, section 24 of the German Residence Act is applicable for Ukrainians fleeing the war. Based on this decision, Ukrainian can also be granted access to German integration and language course or under certain circumstances vocational language courses.
In Germany, integration and language courses are available to any refugee. Ukrainian refugees who have received a temporary residency permit based on section 24 of the German Residence Act can be allowed to take part in integration and language courses. There are different offers including courses especially targeted to the needs of women. Usually, refugees taking part in these course have to pay €2.20 per lesson. As the standard integration course includes 700 lessons, this results in overall costs of €1,540 to be borne by the participant. However, Ukrainian refugees were freed of this charge. In addition, Ukrainian refugees can also apply for welfare benefits to cover their basic living needs.
For refugees already speaking the German language well, it is also possible to join a vocational language course. The prerequisite is that refugees at least reached level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and that they have a work permit. The local employment agencies are responsible to grant participation in vocational language courses and also offer advice on available course offers.
On 27 May 2022, the daily newspaper Welt reported that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has granted access to integration and language courses to over 80,000 Ukrainian refugees within the last couple of weeks. After being granted access to such courses, applicants still need to participate in a language skills test. Based on the test results, they can be placed in a suitable course. In general, it takes a couple of weeks before applicants can start their course. According to the newspaper, around 17,000 Ukrainian refugees took part in such courses already.
According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), 62,686 Ukrainians participated in the integration courses in the first half of 2022.
Other groups of workers
Migrants or refugees in employment
|Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Public employment service
Public support service providers
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Language and integration courses for refugees are a long-standing instrument of German integration policies. We have no information if consultations took place when allowing Ukrainian refugees to take part in these courses.
The Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) welcomes the language and integration courses for Ukrainian refugees and also calls on the Federal Government to facilitate access to these courses promptly. The Confederation of German Employers' Association (BDA) similarly highlighted that is was very important to create sufficient capacities for Ukrainian refugees to be able to learn the language.
Eurofound (2022), Access to integration and language courses, measure DE-2022-9/2305 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2022-9_2305.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.