Romania and Bulgaria take in Syrian refugees

We are you! - Integration in Duisburg

Image: Painting by the Duisburg artist Serap Riedel
Photo (c): Serap Riedel;

New immigrants

New immigrants today come mainly from the two EU countries Bulgaria and Romania and as refugees from Syria and Iraq.

The university city of Duisburg is also an attraction for young people from abroad who want to study here. They usually come for the duration of their studies.

Immigration of citizens from the EU
Free movement is one of the fundamental rights that the European Union (EU) guarantees its citizens. Traveling without a visa requirement, living and working in another member state without a work permit - advantages that are self-evident across the EU. In exercising this right, around 21 thousand people from EU countries have settled in Duisburg (as of December 2012).

Citizens of Bulgaria and Romania have also enjoyed the right to free movement since the two countries joined the EU in 2007. Measured by its population, Duisburg is the city with the most immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania in North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 18,000 people from the two countries of Southeast Europe live in Duisburg (as of 2018).

Integration work
There is a city-wide network in Duisburg with advice and support services for the integration of the newly immigrated people. Integration and language courses as well as a number of committed projects by numerous organizations help new immigrants to familiarize themselves with the customs in the new country and seize the opportunities for education, integration and participation.

In close cooperation with the independent organizations and with all available means, the city of Duisburg campaigns for humane living conditions for immigrants and for minimum standards. This includes, among other things, that children are sent to school and preventive health measures are taken. Networks and round tables in the city districts also deal with the problems of neighborly coexistence.

Information from the city of Duisburg on immigration from Southeast Europe:

Additional information:
Consequences and challenges of EU freedom of movement for Germany
(Annual report of the Advisory Council of German Foundations)

Integration offers in Duisburg

Many actors from the Duisburg club and association landscape, municipal institutions and religious communities offer a wide range of integration measures. Above all, offers for the integration of new immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria and of refugees and asylum seekers are in the foreground.

Information on the work of the Duisburg charities:

You can find an overview of Duisburg associations involved in integration policy on our website

An exemplary selection of projects in Duisburg:

FEAD - Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

Project "Integration and Consulting II plus"
A contribution to the fight against poverty and social exclusion

The project is aimed at particularly disadvantaged newcomers from the EU countries who have found their center of life in Germany. The aim of FEAD is to improve the living conditions of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion. In particular, newly immigrated EU citizens, including parents with their children of preschool age and homeless people and people at risk of homelessness, are introduced to locally and regionally available support services through advice. This should enable and promote participation in social life in Germany.

The EHAP project is being implemented in cooperation with the Duisburger Werkkiste (DWK) and the Employment Promotion Agency (GfB), whose advisors work at various locations in Duisburg.

The European Union and the Federal Government are promoting the Advice and Integration II plus project within the framework of the European Aid Fund for the Most Disadvantaged People (FEAD).

Lead: Municipal Integration Center of the City of Duisburg
Project partner: GfB, Werkkiste Duisburg gGmbH
Duration: 2019-2020
Contact: Neslihan Deren, email: [email protected]

Flyer: Integration and Advice II plus


Program of measures Southeast Europe “Close to it - Aven majpashe”

Close to it - Aven majpashe
The project “Nah dran - Aven majpashe” aims to use native speakers from the Roma community to create access to new immigrants from Southeastern Europe in order to increase their chances of equal participation.

The project consists of three components: conflict prevention, educational support, street sponsors.
It is funded by the Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Lead: Municipal Integration Center of the City of Duisburg
Project partners: Sprachförderung Duisburg e.V., EG DU, Georgswerk Duisburg e.V, AWO Integrations gGmbH, Wennekers and Riedel GbR
Duration: 2020 to 2022
Contact: Heidrun Oberländer-Yilmaz (coordinator); Email: [email protected]

Flyer: “Close to it - Aven majpashe”


Completed projects sponsored by the Municipal Integration Center in the period 2014 to 2019:


Maltese medicine for people without health insurance

According to estimates, around 10,000 people live in Duisburg without valid health insurance. Most of them come from Bulgaria and Romania, are refugees or “people without papers”.

Malteser Medicine for people without health insurance offers people without a valid residence status and people without health insurance a free initial medical examination and emergency care - in the event of sudden illness, injury or pregnancy.

An appointment is required. More information can be found here.



The municipal integration center of the city of Duisburg has a multilingual Flyer with initial information published for new immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania.


Flyer: Arrived, where are you going now? (Bulgarian / German) (925.1 KiB, 87 hits)


Flyer: Arrived, where to go now? (Romanian / German) (920.0 KiB, 81 hits)


signpost for new EU citizens from Bulgaria and Romania in Duisburg ”, published by the International Initiative Hochfeld e.V. (as of 2013).
The guide offers a comprehensive overview of the range of advice services in Duisburg and provides information, for example, on looking for an apartment, on children going to school or on health insurance.



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Advice centers and offers for women and girls