Potulka - city walks in Košice organized by ETP Slovakia in partnership with the City Information Centre and hosted by famous local guides Milan Kolcun and Zoltán Balassa presented what traces have various foreigners left in Košice in the past and how they contribute to the development of the city currently.

Fifteen tours were held on 6th, 7th and 8th of December 2019. More than 450 people took part in the walks and got acquainted with people who left their home countries and influenced the city of Kosice and its locals by their business, artwork or thoughts. The walks included visiting many places and buildings, which are famous for its residents. 

Only few participants knew that 100 years ago Košice had six Turkish cafés and a shop with overseas/colonial goods. First translation of Quran from Latin into Hungarian was made and printed in Košice in 1831. Even nowadays locals can enjoy Japanese art piece in the city park or a renaissance painting by Italian artist on a house facade in the city centre.

The owners of the Café de Paris - French-Slovak couple invited all participants to taste sweet meringue-based confection – colourful macarons. All Potulka participants received another special gift: the illustrated map of restaurants owned by foreigners living in Košice - Bon appetit Neighbor!

Project evaluation meeting was held on 6th of December 2019 in Košice, in the premises of The City Municipality Office. ETP Slovakia project coordinators Slávka Mačáková and Lenka Czikková had a discussion with six employees of the City Municipality Office representing departments such as Social Department, Department of Strategic Development, Department of Communication and IT Department. The same day Lenka Czikková spoke with other project stakeholders representing organizations IOM, Human Rights League, Marginal and Migration Office at the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.

One of the biggest achievements of the project was bringing the topic about TCN migration and integration to municipality level. So far, this topic generally has not been a priority for the regional, nor the local institutions. As one of the stakeholders stated: “Thanks to the project we (the city) started to think about foreigners not just as tourists and visitors, but as regular and long-term inhabitants of Košice”.

TCN and migrants account for only two percent of the total population in Košice. They live across the whole city, there are no segregated communities of TCN in Košice, and therefore there are no problems with a safety of TCN and/or majority populations. However, the growing economy creates favourable employment opportunities and universities in Košice are expanding their study programs and receiving more and more students from abroad. More and more employers in Košice are open to employ people coming from abroad as they face challenges to fill vacancies. These are the benefits the city will use when will publicly communicate the measures taken. The new City Integration Agenda became a base document for upcoming local strategic documents.

Among points, which were evaluated as excellent, was the networking on the local level. Project connected people from NGOs with people from municipality institutions, people working in integration programs from national level but locally with people from education institutions, police or culture and TCN living in the city with members of traditional minorities.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

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