Weltoffene Kommune (“World-Open Cities and Communities”) Initiative - from dialogue to cohesion

Local cities and com­mu­ni­ties are vital venues for diver­si­ty, inte­gra­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion. Today more than ever, they have to shape ini­tial con­di­tions that pro­mote a world-openness”and a good liv­ing togeth­er. So, how can this be done? The pilot project Weltof­fene Kom­mune — vom Dia­log zum Zusam­men­halt” (“World-Open Cities and Com­mu­ni­ties” — from dia­logue to cohe­sion), fund­ed by the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion­er for Migra­tion, Refugees and Inte­gra­tion, seeks answers to these questions.

Von links nach rechts: Claudia Walther (Bertelsmann Stiftung), Farhad Dilmaghani (PHINEO), Oberbürgermeister Mike Schubert und die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration Annette Widmann-Mauz bei der Auftaktveranstaltung in Potsdam
Von links nach rechts: Claudia Walther (Bertelsmann Stiftung), Farhad Dilmaghani (PHINEO), Oberbürgermeister Mike Schubert und die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration Annette Widmann-Mauz bei der Auftaktveranstaltung in Potsdam

The project, ini­ti­at­ed by PHI­NEO and the Ber­tels­mann Stiftung, will sup­port up to 40 new cities and com­mu­ni­ties all over Ger­many in their wel­com­ing efforts until the begin­ning of 2022. The pilot project is work­ing on three approach­es to achieve this.

Here is an overview of the cur­rent pilot cities and com­mu­ni­ties and process facilitators

Our approach to a solution:

1. Self-check Weltof­fene Kom­mune initiative

At the heart of this approach, is a self-check that helps munic­i­pal­i­ties to ana­lyze their sta­tus quo in terms of their world-open­ness”. Based on the results, local author­i­ties plan their next steps in a facil­i­tat­ed work­shop to fur­ther devel­optheir work on inte­gra­tion and diversity.

2. Sup­port for decision-makers

Munic­i­pal deci­sion-mak­ers are fac­ing a great chal­lenge to respond toa heat­ed social debate and to take a clear stand for world-openness”and against dis­crim­i­na­tion and racism. In order to achieve this, the pilot project will devel­op for­mats of sup­port specif­i­cal­ly tai­lored to the needs of decision-makers.

3. Civ­il Dialogue

In order to be world-open”, local res­i­dents must engage in dia­logue, joint­ly shape com­mu­ni­ty issues and devel­op inclu­sive nar­ra­tives. Depend­ing on the ini­tial sit­u­a­tion, the pilot project offers the pos­si­bil­i­ty of hold­ing dia­logue events between local res­i­dents, admin­is­tra­tion and pol­i­tics as well as play­ers from busi­ness and civ­il society.

Participation in the pilot project


Here you will find detailed information on the project participation (PDF).

Whether your city and community is eligible to participate in the project will be decided after an initial interview. The basic rule is:

  • relevant decision-makers support the project and participate in its planning and implementation.
  • your city or community will provide a contact person for the project team for the duration of the project, who will ensure the local coordination and the involvement of relevant actors.
  • your city or community supports the further development of support services by sharing your learning experiences on the path towards “world-openness” and diversity with the project team.


What added val­ue does my city and com­mu­ni­ty get from participating?
By tak­ing part in a nation­wide, high pro­file pilot project with­in the frame­work of the Nation­al Action Plan for Inte­gra­tion, a pos­i­tive and inno­v­a­tive label enti­tled Cos­mopoli­tan munic­i­pal­i­ty” will be giv­en to the munic­i­pal­i­ty. The par­tic­i­pa­tion and accom­pa­ny­ing sup­port is free of charge. You have a learn­ing expe­ri­ence on a pro­fes­sion­al lev­el, e.g. on con­flict man­age­ment, but also on a method­olog­i­cal lev­el, e.g. on dis­cus­sion for­mats with dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers. In addi­tion, you can net­work and exchange infor­ma­tion with oth­er munic­i­pal­i­ties nationwide.
What are the costs for cities and communities?
Par­tic­i­pa­tion is free of charge and lasts a max­i­mum of six months. You do not need to plan a full-time posi­tion for this time, but you should name a con­tact per­son. Ide­al­ly, this should be the inte­gra­tion offi­cer or a per­son from the core inte­gra­tion team. This con­tact per­son orga­nizes the on-site self-check work­shop and estab­lish­es con­tact with the head of administration.
Does the form Inter­est in par­tic­i­pa­tion” have to be agreed upon in the administration?
No, you can send us the form with­out pri­or agree­ment. How­ev­er, we rec­om­mend that you dis­cuss your planned par­tic­i­pa­tion in the project with­in the admin­is­tra­tion and win fur­ther sup­port­ers for the project.


We are looking forward to your message!

If your city or community is interested in the pilot project, please send the completed form "Interest in participation" to Bianka Certa!



Advi­so­ry Board 

  • Dr. Franziska Beck­er, expert for research-based con­sult­ing for munic­i­pal­i­ties; con­flict medi­a­tion in social urban and munic­i­pal development
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Ben­del, Chair­woman of the Sci­en­tif­ic Advi­so­ry Board of the Fed­er­al Office for Migra­tion and Refugees (BAMF)
  • Anna Dieter­le, project man­age­ment in the pilot project by Stiftung Mer­ca­tor and the Coun­cil of Experts of Ger­man Foun­da­tions for Inte­gra­tion and Migra­tion (SVR)
  • Anne Keßler, Head of Depart­ment SW III 3 — Urban Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme Social City”; ESF in the Fed­er­al Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or, for Build­ing and Home­land Affairs (BMI)
  • David Lubell, Founder and Chair­man of Wel­com­ing America
  • Hol­ger Michael, Own­er Loud and Clear — Strate­gic Communication
  • Dr. Deniz Ner­giz, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Fed­er­al Immi­gra­tion and Inte­gra­tion Council
  • Mar­ta Neüff, Board Mem­ber of the Ver­band für interkul­turelle Wohlfahrt­spflege, Empow­er­ment and Diversity
  • Belit Onay, Gov­ern­ing May­or of Hanover
  • Ayse Özbaba­jan, Deputy Direc­tor at the Depart­ment for Inte­gra­tion Pol­i­cy of the City of Stuttgart
  • Dr. rer. soc. Bet­ti­na Reimann, Head of City and Soci­ety” in the research depart­ment of Urban devel­op­ment, Law and Social Affairs, Ger­man Insti­tute of Urban Affairs
  • Timo Rein­frank, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Amadeu Anto­nio Foundation
  • Dr. Elias Stein­hilper, Expert at DeZ­IM Institute
  • Prof. Dr. Hacı-Halil Uslu­can, Head of the Foun­da­tion Cen­tre for Turk­ish Stud­ies and Inte­gra­tion Research
  • Kirstin Wal­sleben, Head of divi­sion, Ger­man Asso­ci­a­tion of Ger­man Cities

    If you have any ques­tions please con­tact us:

    phone: +49 30 520 065 400
    mail: orga@​phineo.​org or info@​phineo.​org