Happy Birthday EU! – 60 years after the Treaties of Rome

60 years ago the foundation for today’s EU was laid when Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany signed the Treaties of Rome.

60 years of development, successes, crises and backdrops, but most important of all: 60 years of peace in Europe and 60 years of growing together to one Union.
The EU’s development until today was never easy or without backdrops and problems: France didn’t want Great Britain to join, the Empty Chair Crisis and the non-completion of a European Constitution. However, the EU always found an answer, a solution to the problem and developed further, came back stronger.
The Common European Market was established, inner-EU border-controls abolished and the Euro invented.

And today? Where is Europe heading?
Of course there are problems and crises the EU has to face, maybe more challenging than ever before, or just different?
Migration from Northern Africa, terrorism, and still some outliers of the financial crisis are challenging, however the EU is strong enough to combat these challenges, if it stays together, if we stay together.
Anti-EU movements within some Nation-States, such as political organizations or Brexit as the ultimate are developments within the nations and among the people of Europe. Nevertheless, the reaction to Brexit as well as the recent outcomes of the election in the Netherlands show that the people still believe in the EU, and we should do so! The EU offers a lot: we can travel through the EU as we like, without a passport, for most of the countries we do not even have to change money. Without the EU every of our countries would be alone, would be a minor player (if so at all) at the world scene, between America, China and Russia.

Therefore, we should March For Europe, we should celebrate and we should thank what it brought already and what it offers us.

By Ann-Kristin Gross

Top 10 Fun Facts – Berlin

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Berlin is unique, a city of superlatives and there are far more than 10 facts you should definitely know
  2. Sunny weather and culturally intense: Berlin has more museums than rainy days per year. Berlin offers more than 180 museums covering everything from arts over history and technical stuff to Currywurst and toys, while it rains only on about 106 days a year.
  3. Ever-moving city: Every hour 18 people move from one district to of the city to another one.
  4. Highly international: About 500,000 foreigners live in Berlin, coming from about 185 different nations. But Berlin is not only interesting to foreign nationalities: Many people from all over Germany live in Berlin and so it may not surprise that only 1/4 of all people living in Berlin, are born and raised in Berlin.
  5. Growing city: Every day 435 people move into Berlin while only 327 leave the city.
  6. Green, greener, Berlin: More than 44% of the city’s area is made up by parks, woods, river and other recreational areas. This makes Berlin the greenest city of Germany and high-ranking worldwide.
  7. City of superlatives:
    • KaDeWe is the largest department store of Continental Europe
    • longest beer-garden in the world (2.2 km long)
    • East Side Gallery is largest open-air gallery of the world
    • more than 9 times bigger than Paris
    • more bridges than Venice
  8. Berlin is the only city in the world having 3 opera houses, comprising more than 4000 seats
  9. Ever wanted to get gold directly from an ATM? – At the Gallerie Lafayette in Friedrichstraße this is possible! You can buy gold in 250g portions from the ‘Gold ATM’
  10. Relaxed mentality: Berliners are least worried about the future than everyone else in Germany.

Top 10 Fun facts – Hamburg

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. John Lennon said: “I was born in Liverpool but raised in Hamburg
  2. When Hamburgers refer to the DOM they do not mean a church or cathedrale but a huge fair, taking place three times a year in Hamburg
  3. Hamburg has approximately 2500 bridges and hence not only more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined, but it has more bridges than any other city of the world
  4. There are more millionaires living in Hamburg than in any other German city
  5. Hamburg is 7 times bigger than Paris and 14% of Hamburg is green space
  6. In Wedel is the ‘Willkomm-Höft’ situated. The only ship greeting dock of the world. It welcomes every ship entering the harbour of Hamburg with the national anthem and flag of the originating country
  7. The VIP-seats of the FC St.Pauli Stadium offer each an own Astra Pils tap as well as a small ice-rink where fresh Currywurst is served
  8. The Miniature Wonderland Hamburg is the largest railway museum as well as the largest model railway in the world. It inherits more the 12km of railway lines
  9. Only men as well as those women working there are allowed to enter the ‘Herbertstraße’ in Hamburg
  10. “Hummel, Hummel” “Mors, Mors” is a very common salutation in Hamburg. However, it is mere used as a distinctive mark and a battle cry among Hamburgers

Top 10 Fun facts – Munich

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Beer is considered food and not an alcoholic beverage in Bavaria
  2. The Biergartenverordnung allows you to bring and eat your own food in a Bavarian beergarden
  3. Oktoberfest is held in September mainly and ends the first weekend in October
  4. The Bavarian dialect is difficult, even for other Germans: Brötchen (Buns) are called Semmeln and the city’s name ‘München’ becomes ‘Minga’
  5. Munich’s specialty the ‘Weisswürste’ (white sausages) is served with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels and ONLY until 12:00 noon
  6. not counting the cities in Alaska, Munich is located more north than any larger city in the US
  7. The city’s name ‘München’ was derived from the old High German ‘Munichen’ and means ‘by the monks the place’
  8. According to legend the architect of the well-known Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) tricked the devil into thinking the church having no windows. However, when the devil realised he had been duped he stamped his foot near the entrance. You can view the footprint called the devil’s step even today.
  9. Munich’s English Garden is heavily influenced by Asian architecture, comprising Chinese pagodas, a Japanese teahouse as well as temples
  10. the oldest building in Munich known today is neither a church nor a Bavarian pub or tavern – it’s a toilet of the year 1260

ICH-Will-Deutsch-Lernen

 “ich-will-deutsch-lernen” new onlineplatform for refugees and migrants

The German „Deutsche Volkshochschul – Verband”  provides a tool to support migrants and refugees in learning German. Name of the webportal is “ich-will-deutsch-lernen”. The available platform implied a German language course which helps to learn and improve German language skills, starting from level A1 to level B1. The Volkshochschul – Verband want to support the integration of refugees and migrants in culture and social living.
The content of the digital courses is according to the rules of integration courses in Germany.
Furthermore the portal offers an extensive range of material for alphabetisation. And last but not least the portal provides also one tool to improve German professional jargon. The user can choose out of 30 cross-sectoral scenarios and 11 professional communication activities.
Everybody may use the tool: do-it-yourself-learner, teachers and professional learning classes.
Teacher of integration courses and German courses have to register and build up their own class online. Then they are able to supervise their participants. Learners who start on their own will be supervised by tutors of DVV.
ich-will-deutsch-lernen.de

update: there are new features available

EU BLUE CARD

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series EU BLUE CARD

Is it a great chance for highly skilled workers from third countries to work in the EU?

But is the current EU BLUE CARD that attractive?  Will highly skilled workers from third countries join the EU to strengthen the EU’s competitiveness?

The EU’s current Blue CARD for immigration of highly skilled workers is not well-equipped for these challenges. There are too many parallel – national Member states’ rules and different condition and procedures across the EU. The BLUE CARD was launched “as an EU flagship initiative” in 2009. Between 2012 and 2014 have been issued only 30.000 BLUE CARDs only EU wide. This is the main reason for the European Commission to revise the Directive.

EU Commission will recast the BLUE CARD. The proposal for the new BLUE CARD shall attract more highly skilled worker.

Which are the main proposed changes?

  • Harmonization, simplification and efficiency
  • More inclusive and flexible admission conditions
  • Enhanced Intra-EU mobility
  • Faster and more flexible procedures
  • Improved rights

For the EU faces significant labor and skill shortages in certain sectors, it will be important to attract these highly skilled workers from third countries to enhance the competitiveness of its economy.

Relocation: to move or not move

If you have ever been offered a great job in another city or country, you know the feeling. On the one hand, there’s the excitement of a new place and a new culture. On the other hand, you feel sad about leaving friends behind. You worry that your family will be unhappy in a new city.
How can you decide if a move is the right thing or not?
First of all you should gather as much information as possible about the new location, city and country. Try to find out the big differences between your home country and your new destination.

Before you make a decision, you should also look at what other job opportunities are available in the new location, if this company is the only company there in your industry and the job doesn’t work out, it may be difficult to find something else.

What is about your family?
Give them a chance to visit the new city to find out what it can offer them. Still, it might be better for everyone if your family stays in your current location while you get used to your new position, gohelpy specialists say. “The initial period in the new job is about making connections, meeting people and working many hours to get up to speed”.
Sometimes, a decision to go out before the rest of your family can be a great one. It gives you time to focus on the transition and pave the way for the rest of them to join you.

FIVE handy hints for a successful Relocation

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Relocation

Getting started in Germany to work, to study or to live here, you should think about important five things to do on your way to an immigration and successful integration to Germany

  1. Very important: paperwork, make sure you have all needed documents, starting with a valid passport and certifies copies of all certificates and diplomas…
  2. Flat hunt: make sure your new surrounding will fit with your interests.
  3. Make sure, which steps you will have to do, after moving to your new home: starting with registration, applying for residence and working permit, open a bank account etc…, it will definitely bother you to do all required administrative things.
  4. Get familiar with “DO’s and DON’Ts”
  5. Learning the language: this is the most effective way to become really integrated!!

Berlin gets ready for digital future

The new ” Einstein centre Digital Future”  in Berlin will create a multi collaboration and interdisciplinary research environment for increasing digitalization. Scientist from all over the wolrd will work about digitalization.
By now are round about 75.000 people employed in digital economy in Berlin.

Berlin gets more than 50 new It – professors. They should help to promote Berlin with the subject of Digitization further about the new “Einstein-Zentrum für digitale Zukunft” (Einstein’s centre for digital future). The scientists should build up networks to other disciplines: from medicine to archeology, in clothes integrated chips up to researches to the digital town. Furthermore, the effects of digitalization i.e. world of work should be investigated. Christian Thomson, president of the University of Technology Berlin said, “such a concentration in It research, as it will be situated in Berlin then, will be unique in Germany and a big chance for Berlin as science location”. The scientists should start to work 2017.

Right now first calls for tendering are puplished.

Integration into the German labour market

Suspension of priority review (Vorrangprüfung) facilitates integration into the German labour market.

The German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs decided to suspend the priority review in the majority of the 156 agency districts for asylum seekers and tolerated persons. Until recently it had to be checked whether German employees were available instead of employing asylum seekers and tolerated. The suspension facilitates the integration the integration of these persons into the labour market, as employment of those failed often because of the review. Undertakings as well as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce appreciate the decision as this facilitates filling jobs and raises efficiency. The International Chamber of Commerce mentions however that filling jobs with refugees is not a long-term solution against skills shortage in Germany.