THE ASSOCIATION of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS) believes that local governments are underestimating the issue of immigration and the problems immigrants encounter when integrating into society. To address the problem, ZMOS has launched a project to help integrate foreigners into local communities. It will be funded from the European Fund for the Integration of non-EU Immigrants, the TASR newswire reported on August 4.

The project’s coordinator, Barbora Gindlová, noted that the municipalities are not paying enough attention to the problems of immigrants.

“It is not a dominant topic that would be among the 10 most important tasks of a municipality,” Gindlová said, as quoted by TASR, adding that this may be due to the tight budgets of local governments.

She went on to say that the project will first involve five towns, which will then serve as examples for other towns and villages. ZMOS has already selected the town of Michalovce, in Košice Region, for the project. The remaining four municipalities will be chosen in cooperation with the foreign and border police.

“They [the police] are now trying to identify towns with the largest waves of immigration, including when this concerns immigrants from Ukraine,” Gindlová explained, as quoted by TASR.

She also noted that ZMOS will encourage the respective towns to set up an integrated point of contact for immigrants, with an official that will help foreigners in all aspects of life, including accommodation, education and employment.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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