A first look at Oberursel’s Ausländerbeirat

The last time that I wrote about the term “Ausländerbeirat” I had just voted in Oberursel to elect a new one in November 2010.  At the time I asked what the point of having one was, especially I did not know any of the candidates and the turnout at the election was only 3%.

For the benefit of readers who are not aware of the Ausländerbeirat (other than a voting slip every 5 years), it is an elected parliamentary body that every town in Hessen has where more than 1000 foreigners live.  And only those foreigners are eligible to stand for election and to vote.

As I understand it they have two purposes.  One is to support the integration of foreigners in the local community, and the other is to look at the decisions being made by other committees and the town parliament in order to comment on whether the non-German communities will be particularly affected by them.

Whether they have any power to block any of those decisions, I have yet to discover. [Read more…]

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