INTEGRA project team in Bulgaria co-organized a workshop together with the Balkan Youth Forum. The Balkan Youth Forum is a programme for informal civic education of young people aged 16 to 21. On July 20, 2018 the participants - 28 young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey worked together to identify ways to make Sofia a more welcoming place for third country nationals in terms of educational opportunities, access to services, visa procedures. Sofia Mayor Mrs Yordanka Fandakova was also in attendance to hear the proposals of the young people.
The second focus group was held in Osijek on 5th July as a part of the Integra project.
Nine representatives of civil society organizations and TCNs and migrant communities attended the group and discussed, among other, the elements of integration and potential difficulties local community faces regarding the arrival and accommodation of a large numbers of TCNs in the city of Osijek. Besides that, participants shared their views on the current situation of the third-country nationals (TCN) in Osijek.
The participants agreed that there is a significant number of civil society organizations in the city area that provide various activities that involve migrants, helping them to connect better with the local community. In addition, the experience of working with refugees, acquired by NGOs during the 1990s, as well as the personal experience of refugees in this specific area, can be a major support to the integration process.