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One of many EU moves towards further integration and better service means administrative departments and offices in many countries can be contacted the single telephone number of 115.

In many German locations public agencies have signed up too. The system is designed to end frustrating searches to find a particular person in a specific agency who can respond to an enquiry.

The organisation’s specific targets include responding to 75% of calls within 30 seconds and resolving 55% of queries during the initial conversation. If a question cannot be answered immediately, a response will be given e-mail, fax or phone within 24 hours during regular service hours. Phone calls are charged at local rates, hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

The uptake of public agencies in the Ruhr Metropolis is unfortunately slow, so most are available on local numbers found on urban and district websites. Search municipal administration, Stadtverwaltung or Kreisverwaltung, with your location.

City departments in the region have progressed on the scale of service orientation. Some agents are dedicated to doing their best to offer smooth processing but processing times can be excruciatingly long. 

By Vincent Green, Jul 9 2021

Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat

Alt-Moabit 140
10557 Berlin

+49 30 186 810

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We stand in a foreign culture finding ourselves pointing, gesticulating and hoping to be understood. Many Germans speak at least some English. However, some expats relocating to the Ruhr Metropolis may wish to carry a few basic but helpful words with them for use in awkward moments.

Lederhosen German shorts


Anyone who has experienced the hospitality offered by this society knows that the country and its folk have changed enormously over recent years. The Ruhr is, as a whole, peaceful and its citizens are mostly generous and contented.

Socialising in the Ruhr

Staying in touch and getting together with others living in a similar situation can be important. Expat groups in social media are highly valuable sources for connecting. Socialising in the Ruhr Metropolis can include events, international clubs or heading for a popular spot to meet international residents.