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“More than 32 years after reunification, East Germans are clearly underrepresented in our country’s leadership positions, a problem that has yet to be resolved,” says Carsten Schneider, commissioner for the East. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

Even 32 years after reunification, quite a few East Germans still feel like second-class citizens. In order to get more people from the East into leadership positions, the Commissioner for the East has now submitted a report.

Berlin – East Germans rarely have a say on the executive floors of federal authorities and federal courts. Although about 20 percent of the population are native East Germans, their share of managerial positions in the highest and highest federal authorities is only 13.9 percent. If only the five eastern German states excluding Berlin are taken as birthplaces, the figure is only 7.4 percent. This emerges from a survey carried out by the commissioner of the East, Carsten Schneider, which the federal cabinet will discuss on Wednesday.

“More than 32 years after reunification, East Germans are clearly underrepresented in leadership positions in our country, a problem that has not yet been resolved,” Schneider told the German Press Agency. “This federal government is making a problem of that.” Not only in politics and administration, but also in business, culture, science, the judiciary and the media, more East Germans should occupy leadership positions. “This is crucial for the cohesion of society and the stability of our democracy,” Schneider said.

His report states that many East Germans feel like second-class citizens because they are underrepresented in the elite. To change that, Schneider does not want to resort to a quota. Rather, according to one concept, many small adjustments must be made. First, data on places of birth need to be recorded more systematically. Federal authorities must work with voluntary commitments. Selection committees should be made up of more diverse staff, managers should be specifically prepared for their tasks, and networking should be promoted. dpa

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