Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Wednesday recent comments that multiculturalism had failed, saying that diversity had made Germany stronger but that immigrants must be better integrated.
"What I mean to say is that for years, for decades, the approach was that integration was not something that needed to be addressed, that people would live side-by-side and that it would sort itself out by itself," Merkel said.
"This turned out to be false. What in fact is needed is a political effort and an effort by society as a whole to make integration happen ... Diversity in society is something that has always made our country stronger."
Speaking after hosting a one-day "integration summit", Merkel said that immigrants and their descendants had to speak German in order to play a role in society and live up to German "values."
"This is something that I see as being the opposite of what I meant by multiculturalism," the conservative Merkel, 56, told reporters.