State government measures
The number of refugees being accepted into Saxony is sill on a high level. In response to the constant influx of asylum seekers, the Saxon state government has approved and implemented a number of measures for accepting and integrating those seeking protection.
Outpatient medical clinic for refugees
Outpatient medical clinics have been set up for asylum seekers in Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz. Patients holding a proper certificate of medical treatment may come here to receive the pain therapy and acute treatment to which they are entitled. The outpatient clinics are designed to take the pressure off nearby physicians, since they are geared around treating foreign patients. For example, interpreters are always on hand along with the doctors.
Accommodation plan - Expanding capacities at the initial reception centres
When refugees and asylum seekers come to Germany, they are initially housed and looked after at reception centres. The reception centres in Saxony are run by the state government, in co-operation with the three large aid organisations DRK Sachsen, Malteser and Johanniter. Until summer 2015, there was only one such centre in Chemnitz. Due to the increasing influx of refugees, another was opened in Leipzig, and several temporary accommodation facilities set up throughout Saxony.
Financial support for municipalities
After leaving the initial reception centres, the asylum seekers are distributed across the municipalities, which are responsible for providing further housing and care for these people until the asylum process is complete. Due to the high financial costs associated with this, the Saxon government has decided to grant the districts and independent municipalities 43 million Euros to assist with looking after and housing asylum seekers, and providing repatriation counselling, for 2015.
Integration into the job market
Successfully integrating refugees into German society requires regulated access to the German job market. The Saxon state government has therefore decided to set up a programme to assist with this. It also plans to offer targeted counselling and financing services for start-up support (microloans), and organise events promoting better integration of refugees in terms of employment and education/training.
School-age children of asylum seekers must comply with Germany's compulsory education requirement, and are first taught in so-called DaZ (German as a second language) classes. The subject of German as a Second Language is taught intensively to prepare the children as quickly as possible for integration into regular classes and therefore the standard German school system. The number of teaching positions available to teach refugee children has been increased from 332 in the 2014/15 school year to 632 in the 2015/16 school year.
Membership of clubs and participation in sporting competitions is a key component of integrating asylum seekers into German society. Together with the State Sports Association (Landessportbund, LSB), a plan has been developed to integrate refugees into sports clubs and sporting events. The LSB will be given an additional € 200,000 p.a. from the state budget to carry out the integration project.
Employing additional staff at the initial reception centres
The high number of refugees arriving in Saxony means a growing demand for helpers to care for and look after them. The Saxon state government has written to retired officials to ask them to take on temporary work in the initial reception centres. A total of 567 former Saxon state government employees, who retired after 1 January 2013, have so far applied.