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Rotation principle

The rotation principle means the principle of restricting the stay of labour migrants in Germany to a specific time limit, as was initially planned in the labour recruitment agreements in West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. The labour migrants were supposed to return to their countries of origin and be replaced by new labour migrants after a temporary stay in Germany. This was based on the belief that a frequent rotation would prevent a permanent settlement. However, this system was critiqued not only by the migrants themselves but also their employers. They feared the disadvantages of losing well-trained employees and having to instruct new workers on a regular basis.