History of the DeZIM

The German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) was founded in 2017. The green light for the establishment of DeZIM was given by the then Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Katarina Barley, and the then governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, on June 28, 2017. At a ceremonial launch in Berlin, they signed the first cooperation agreements with Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajić, then Minister for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.

On July 31, 2017, just one month later, DeZIM was officially founded as an association in Berlin. The founding members include the German federal government, represented by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS), the Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI), and the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. It also includes the federal states of Berlin and Lower Saxony, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin), the universities of Osnabrück, Bielefeld, Duisburg-Essen and Mannheim, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB).

The idea of establishing DeZIM goes back to the "Summer of Migration" in 2015.

During those months when many people fled to Europe via Turkey and Greece, Germany suddenly became the focus of international attention and was perceived as a global actor in the field of migration policy. This also highlighted the need to improve and strengthen the network of German migration and integration researchers, who were spread across various locations, and to make it more visible internationally. The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) was therefore commissioned by the German Bundestag as early as 2016 to establish and fund the German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM). According to its statutes, DeZIM e.V. is required to improve the empirical and theoretical foundations of policy on family affairs, gender equality, youth, senior citizens and volunteering, as well as providing science-based policy advice to the federal and state governments. To this end, the association runs the DeZIM Institute in Berlin.