Almost 16 million people have migrated to the federal state of Baden-Württemberg since it was founded in 1952, and they did so for many different reasons: refugees and displaced persons after the Second World War, so-called "guest workers" from Southern Europe, subsequent immigration of family members, civil war refugees and immigrants from the new federal states.
There are now approximately 1.4 million people with foreign passports living in Baden-Württemberg, which amounts to almost 12 per cent of the federal state's total population. Of all the people living in Baden-Württemberg, 2.8 million (26.7 per cent) have migration backgrounds. About 40 per cent of the people living here who don't have a German passport come from one of the 27 EU countries, predominantly from Italy, Greece and Poland. The largest group of non-EU migrants come from Turkey. The number of refugees and asylum seekers has risen over the last few years: While in 2004 just under 2,700 persons made an application for asylum in Baden-Württemberg, in 2015 that number had risen to approximately 38,000 already in August. The largest group of asylum seekers comes from Syria.
Migration is controlled and influenced by political decisions and legal provisions. While the immigration of the so-called "guest workers" was deliberately promoted in the 1950s and 1960s, the beginning of the 1970s saw attempts at curbing it again. Meanwhile the freedom of movement of EU citizens within Europe has become unlimited due to the political integration of Europe. In the context of demographic change and the skilled worker shortage resulting from it, it has been made easier in recent years for highly-skilled persons from third countries to immigrate to Germany for the purpose of taking up work.
It is the objective of the IQ Network to facilitate a long-term and skills-adequate integration of immigrants – both those who have been living in Germany for a while and those who just entered the country – into the German labour market. Against that background, the IQ Network provides the staff of the Welcome Centres in Baden-Württemberg and the "Integration of Asylum Seekers and Refugees" network with instruction and training services in the field of intercultural competence development and also in specialised topics such as the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. By conveying practice-relevant expertise, the IQ Network intends to contribute to the determination and application of quality criteria and standards for counselling institutions in dealing with immigrants. The consultation and qualification opportunities of the IQ Network Baden-Württemberg are also available to all immigrants.