Berlin (dpa) – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has encouraged foreigners living in Germany to exercise their right to naturalization if the requirements are met.
“Only then will you really have the same rights, only then can you really participate,” Steinmeier said at a naturalization ceremony in Berlin on Friday. At the same time he called on the Germans to recognize the “natural connection” of the people who came here. Germany has gradually become an immigration country and will continue to require immigration in the future.
At the ceremony in Bellevue Palace, four women and two men from Berlin and Brandenburg received their naturalization certificates and an edition of the Basic Law, which will turn 72 years old on Sunday.
Steinmeier recalled that this is the “basis of our coexistence”. “It guarantees democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion, equality, freedom of expression, the right to free development.” It also enforces respect for everyone’s freedom, not to discriminate against anyone, to resolve conflict peacefully and to seek compromise. “It is often exhausting and arduous, but there is no other way in a democracy.” Despite the guaranteed freedom of expression and demonstration, “We do not tolerate anti-Semitism – no matter who – in our country.”
Steinmeier expressed concern that people, some of whom lived here in the fourth generation, did not feel like they belonged and reported that they are “ the target of racism and exclusion, that they are lagging behind in working life, ” when looking for accommodation and with authorities ». “Only if Germany has become part of the people who have come to us, and if we simultaneously see the people who have emigrated and want to live here as part of us, only then will we have a common ground. Only then will we truly live up to our claim to be a common land for all the people who live here. “
The Federal President called on naturalized people to get involved in politics. “Democracy needs you! Our common country needs your perspective, your experience. “The proportion of MPs and politicians with foreign roots has increased.” But we cannot settle for that. It still does not reflect the diversity in Germany. “