“Is welfare fair?” A Comparative Study of Migrants‘ Aspirations And Welfare System Support From Germany And Norway

  • Abstract:
    Europe is an attractive destination for different types of migration, and has already been so for several decades. One of the advantages migrants experience in this region are well developed welfare systems which have become an essential pull-factor for the Russian-speaking migrants, especially after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In search of a “welcome in Europe” and a way to elevate one’s life quality, one of the largest migrant flows from the former Soviet Union was directed towards Germany and Norway with their highly developed welfare systems, where the migrants hope to receive sufficient support for a fast integration into the host society. To what extent did they manage to reach their goals and find a new home, and do they really feel equal with the local population? Furthermore, are the migrants feeling of satisfaction with ones migration step dependent on the help received from the host country, or is it dependent on the migrants’ own aspirations? Are the benefits of the welfare systems of the host countries sufficient for the migrants to feel successful in their endeavours, or do other factors such as the migrant motivation and reasons for migration, play a more significant role in the process of migration? To what extent do, in fact, the benefits of the welfare system help with the inclusion of migrants? To answer these and other questions, a multidisciplinary comparative study was conducted in Germany and Norway in 2008-2010 using quantitative and qualitative methods. One of the purposes of this research was to discover the existing relation between the integration policies as a part of the welfare systems of Germany and Norway, the migrant aspirations, as well as the migrants’ success in reaching their goals.