What is Berlin’s new Anmeldung for All campaign?

What is Berlin’s new Anmeldung for All campaign?

“No Anmeldung” can be a haunting phrase for newcomers to Germany who are still looking for somewhere to live. Now, a campaign in Berlin is pushing for a new system which doesn’t leave migrants at a loose end when trying to find their feet in the federal republic.

Campaign to end the vicious cycle of Anmeldung

A new campaign in Berlin “Anmeldung für alle” (“registration for all”) is demanding that authorities set up a fairer address registration system. 

At present, all newcomers to Germany are obliged to register at an address within two weeks of their arrival. But in the thick of the worst housing crisis Germany has seen in 20 years, new arrivals can spend months looking for somewhere to live, and years in unofficial sublets before they can find a more permanent address where the landlord will allow Anmeldung

“For many migrants, the vicious circle of Anmeldung means the exclusion of basic rights and services that are essential for a dignified life,” the campaign argues, pointing out that migrants to the country are disproportionately affected by the current policy since Anmeldung is also required to open a bank account and get a tax ID, both of which are prerequisites for obtaining a work contract in Germany. “Without work, however, it is practically impossible to find an apartment to live in”, the campaign added. 

What’s more, Anmeldung certificates are often required to apply for or renew a visa in Germany. While difficulties with Anmeldung are experienced by people living in many German cities, the current campaign has chosen to focus on Berlin.

What is the Anmeldung für alle campaign demanding?

For migrants who do not come from wealthy families, who are also less likely to have strong support networks in Germany, the current situation leaves them at “risk of sexual aggression, abuse and other types of violence”, a risk which is even more acute for women and queer people, the campaign argues.

In response, the Anmeldung für alle campaign proposes that a universal Anmeldung system be introduced for all Berliners, “through the creation of a new municipal institution [...] where it would be possible to provisionally register and receive mail”. 

Perhaps most fundamentally, the organisation is also demanding a solution to the housing crisis: “For this, it is necessary to build new affordable housing but also to remove many of those properties that already exist from the market circuit and socialise them,” a demand similar to the Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen plan to expropriate thousands of Berlin flats.

Lastly, the campaign demands that Berlin decriminalise Scheinanmeldungen (false registrations), which it argues are “not a crime, but a reaction to the housing crisis and the bureaucratic obstacle of the Anmeldung”. 

You can find out more about the Anmeldung für alle campaign here.

Thumb image credit: ArTono /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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