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Focusing on migration

MIGRATION trends can change very fast. Places which think of themselves as being immune to the challenges which come with migration can find their situation changing in the space of just a few weeks.

MIGRATION trends can change very fast. Places which think of themselves as being immune to the challenges which come with migration can find their situation changing in the space of just a few weeks.

When this happens a country, and its majority population, has two choices: to regard migration as a complex, unsolvable issue, as unwanted baggage which it hopes might one day be carried off by someone else; or it can look at the positive sides to integration and start regarding migrants as individuals who can bring considerable benefits to society. This, in brief summary, was the conclusion arrived at by attendees of a seminar entitled “Local government and integration tools for migrants: Austrian best practice” held in mid July.

The seminar was organised as part of the “Labour Pool for Migrants” project intended to inspire a wider debate on different aspects of migration, an issue still greatly overlooked by political elites.

The Labour Pool for Migrants in Slovakia is a project funded by the EU general programme Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows, European Fund for Integration of Third Country Nationals. The project is being implemented by a team of the Institute for Public Policy at the Faculty of Social and Economic Science, University of Comenius in Bratislava.

The Slovak Spectator, as part of its contribution to the debate, is presenting a selection of thoughts and opinions from seminar participants:
Bernhard Bouzek, of the Vienna city administration;
Ľubica Cibulová, EURES advisor with the Slovak Office of Labour and Social Affairs in Nitra;
Johann Gstir from the Department of Integration of the government of the Austrian state of Tyrol;
Lucia Lamprechtová of IBM Slovensko;
and Judith Safar, Teamleader of the Professional Integration Programme at the Austrian Integration Fund.

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