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.

On 6th of the December 2019, the final SIG meeting took place in Osijek in the premises of Centre for Peace, Nonviolence and Human rights Osijek. The SIG members met for the last time with representatives of Centre for Peace to reflect on the 2 years of INTEGRA experience, as well as to evaluate the main achievements, lessons learned and challenges.

Among the participants were representatives of Volunteer centre Osijek, Croatian Red Cross Osijek, Youth organisation Breza and to assistant of Head of the Social Welfare, Retirement and Health Office for city of Osijek. The attendees discussed the major outputs and activites implemented during the project as well the offline and online awareness raising campaign of Centre for Peace.

Representatives of Centre for Peace, nonviolence nad human rights shared their experience from a conference they participated in “GO LOCAL“ held in Brussels.
The conference gathered representatives from local and regional authorities to inform them about the support available at EU level and give them an opportunity to exchange their practices and experience. 

.The future project in which City of Osijek will take part in - ARRIVAL REGIONS (Interreg Central Europe) was presented as a continuation of INTEGRA. The overall objective of ARRIVAL REGIONS is to enhance the capacities of decision-makers in rural areas previously subject to declining and ageing populations to successfully integrate young non-EU nationals into social life and employment to stabilize their demography.

SIG members assesed INTEGRA as important and succesful project and mentioned The City Integration Audit Reports and Agendas as very useful.

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

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