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Foreigner advisory board /Integration council

Foreigner advisory boards or integration councils are committees in local politics that represent the interests of migrants and foreign nationals in municipal politics (s. commune). Third country nationals as well as EU citizens who have lived in the municipality for at least three (or in some areas six) months are eligible to vote and get elected in Foreigner advisory board or integration council elections. In some municipalities this also applies to naturalised former migrants. These councils were introduced in the 1970s and are based on different legal statuses according to the municipality. In Hessen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate these councils are part of the states’ municipal constitutions. Since third country nationals are not entitled to vote in local elections, foreigner advisory boards or integration councils are their only possibility to participate in local politics. In 1998, foreigner advisory boards and state working groups of the council formed the Federal Foreigner Advisory Board.