For a diverse society, it is crucial that all citizens advocate a friendly and open way of dealing with each other and being there for one another. This works particularly well by becoming a volunteer. The following chapter will give a brief overview of the many ways in which you can volunteer in Freiburg.
The Immigration Advisory Board of the City of Freiburg is an elected, municipal body representing the interests of the foreign population and of all immigrants with a German passport. The Immigration Advisory Board is elected for a term of five years. The Board consists of 19 elected officials. The city of Freiburg sees it as a municipal body that supplements the Immigration Committee (two-committee model).
The objectives of the Immigration Advisory Board are to improve the living conditions of immigrants living in Freiburg and to promote their social integration and understanding for immigrants of different origins in Freiburg. The Board is committed, for example, to promote:
- integration without loss of one’s identity
- better educational opportunities
- for integration in kindergartens, schools and associations
- against right-wing extremism, xenophobia and any type of discrimination
- for the right of non-EU citizens to vote in municipal elections
Functions of the Immigration Advisory Board:
The Immigration Advisory Board promotes the rights of immigrants by making public statements and resolutions. It organizes events in cooperation with German and immigrant associations, groups and organizations to promote intercultural contacts.
It forms working groups (commissions) for specific tasks. These groups collect information on specific issues such as education, women, refugees, media, culture and public relations, sports and the labour market, evaluate these issues and prepare draft resolutions and motions for the Immigration Advisory Board. Motions may be introduced by the Advisory Board for preliminary discussion in the Immigration Committee and, where appropriate, be passed on to City Council.
Chairperson: Mr Tengiz Kirtadze
Office of the Immigration Advisory Board:
How can I take part in political decisions?
In Freiburg, there are two ways for immigrants to participate in political decisions through elections.
- You must have reached the age of 16 on election day
- You must have had your registered place of residence in Freiburg for at least 6 months
Election of Immigration Advisory Board
Immigrants with a foreign passport are eligible to vote. These persons are automatically notified by mail and informed by the Office for Community Service and Information Processing.
Immigrants with a German passport (naturalized citizens and repatriates) must first be enrolled in the electoral roll with the Office for Community Service and Information Processing to also be notified automatically of an election. All eligible voters who have reached the age of 18 may run for office. They must speak and understand German.
As of December 1, 1995, all citizens of European Union (EU) countries may also participate in all municipal elections (elections of Lord Mayor, City Council). All EU citizens eligible to vote are notified in writing before an upcoming municipal election and informed of their right to vote. For information on the election regulations, the electoral process, etc., please contact the Office for Community Service and Information Processing or the office of the Immigration Advisory Board, where you can also get information about the Board and its functions.
Participation in Society
Volunteer work gives you the opportunity to get to know people, to voluntarily do something that is meaningful and thereby shape social life in Freiburg. The intercultural association FAIRburg e. V. is working for greater involvement of immigrant organizations through its MEMO (Management & Empowerment in Immigrant Organizations) project. The MEMO project gives immigrant organizations the opportunity to qualify in all areas of modern association and project management.
City Council has established the Administrative Office of Civic Engagement for volunteer work:
Arranging and creating supportive structures to strengthen and promote awareness of civic engagement
Information and advice for voluntary workers showing civic engagement and other interested persons on local services, activities throughout the state and country as well as on the principles and/or problems of civic engagement.
The Freiburger Freiwilligen-Agentur will advise you about the services of non-profit institutions and organizations and will get you in touch with them. Treffpunkt Freiburg provides the rooms and technical support. The self-help office is your contact for all questions concerning self-help.