Ukraine Refugees Want to Remain in Germany

Researchers from the German Institute for Economic Research and the Research Center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees surveyed over 11,000 Ukrainian refugees in Germany and found that more than one-third wished to stay in Germany for several years, while 26% said they wanted to stay permanently.

In addition, 27% were undecided about returning home, while 34% said they would leave Germany when the war with Russia ends. Only 2% plan to return to Ukraine in the next 12 months.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February, a little more than 1 million Ukrainians have arrived in Germany. According to reports, some 80% of adult refugees are women due to the Zelensky government’s deployment of soldiers.

Ukrainians in Germany were found to be underemployed, even though they had higher education and were younger than the average population. Insufficient language skills are a barrier to employment, with just one in five able to speak German functionally. However, one-half of the respondents said they were taking language courses to overcome the language barrier. The need for child care is another obstacle to securing employment, with nearly half of adult refugees coming to the country with their children.

The influx of unemployed and underemployed migrants has strained Germany’s public services. Asylum seekers and Ukrainian refugees are not required to obtain visas to enter the country or apply for temporary protection. Those without citizenship are also entitled to unemployment and welfare benefits.

The German government has been preparing to host more Ukrainian refugees as winter approaches, especially in light of Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure.

As head of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber MEP warned earlier this month that his country is on the verge of another migrant crisis akin to 2015 when Angela Merkel opened doors to around a million migrants from Syria: “We must prepare for a large number of Ukrainians to come to the EU this winter — and many of them also to Germany, I’m afraid we’ll experience a dramatic escape winter.”