The Integrationsrat elections are coming up soon in NRW, May 25th, to be exact. To understand what that is and why you should take part, here’s some info:
What is it?
The Integrationsrat is the local representation of all migrants in the city council. Ideally, it is composed of two-thirds elected representatives and a third of members selected by the Council.
What do they do?
The main activities of the Integrationsrat, work towards:
- better political participation of migrants; local voting rights for all;
- intercultural orientation of governments, social services and schools;
- programs that help young people to create a professional career;
- improvement of the health and living conditions of migrants;
- promote the work of migrant organizations;
- integration-friendly implementation of federal and state laws in the municipalities.
Who can vote?
- at least 16 years old,
- lived in Germany for at least a year
- registered for at least 16days before the elections in that area
- a foreigner with a valid visa, a foreigner who has taken up German citizenship or a child to a foreigner
For German citizens
For naturalised foreigners who have taken up German citizenship, or German citizens who would want to take part in the elections, you need to hand in an application to be registered to take part in the elections. You need to fill an application: “Antrag auf Eintragung ins Wählerverzeichnis”
Who can’t vote?
Asylum seekers, diplomats, anyone holding a Duldung and those whose rights are stipulated within the EU rights.
Candidates in the Integrationsrat elections may use regular parties or may be independent candidates. For an explanation on which German parties there are, read this: German Political Parties.