Germany currently has a population of around 4.8 million people who are nationals of another EU country. The Federal Institute for Population Research, based on the Central Register of Foreigners, reported that in 2008 the figure was still around 2.4 million.
Immigrants represent a great potential for the German economy. This is because small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are still struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. There is an urgent need for qualified skilled workers. Many immigrants have already acquired good vocational qualifications and degrees in their home countries. It is therefore important to integrate immigrants into the labour market.
The "Recognition Act" is a key instrument here. Since 1 April 2012, the Act has regulated the assessment of foreign professional qualifications and, by recognising them, promotes the integration of immigrants into the world of work. The information portal for foreign vocational qualifications BQ-Portal, which was launched in 2011, provides comprehensive information on foreign vocational qualifications (professional profiles) and vocational training systems (country profiles) - unique in Germany - and thus creates greater acceptance for foreign vocational qualifications.
The largest population groups living in Germany with an EU passport are people from Poland (860,000), Romania (696,000) and Italy (644,000), followed by Croatia (396,000) and Greece (363,000). All in all, fellow citizens from all EU states account for about 44 per cent of all immigrants living in Germany.
These figures are reflected in the recognition statistics. Most applicants have received their education in the EU. Romania, Poland and Italy are among the top 10 countries with the highest number of applicants in the field of recognition.
The BQ-Portal now comprises a total of 91 country profiles and more than 3,440 professional profiles. In the case of country and professional profiles, the main focus is on countries and occupational groups with a high number of applicants. For this reason, many professional profiles are already available for these EU countries:
Poland – 338 professional profiles
Romania – 133 professional profiles
Italy – 76 professional profiles
Croatia – 62 professional profiles
Greece – 80 professional profiles