The City Integration Agenda for Košice represents one of the outcomes of INTEGRA international project. The aim of the project is to improve the long-term integration of TCN
in the five EU member countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia) through the knowledge sharing between the cities and local governments and by creation of partnerships on a local level.
The networking process of various stakeholders participating in the integration of foreigners started at the beginning of 2018. During the spring and summer, ETP Slovakia organized two meetings of focus groups, the PhotoVoice activity, gathering of information from the questionnaires, own research and individual consultations that resulted in City Audit Integration Report for Košice City describing the current status. The City Integration Lab (workshop with the experts) and the round table were held in autumn. We have also elaborated separate documents prepared by the experts. The whole process of preparation of Košice Integration Agenda was participative and included the representatives of local government, public administration, non-government organizations, international organizations, schools and the foreigners living in Košice. Special thanks go to Dáša Vranka Knošková and Barbora Meššová for providing the concluding professional feedback.
The multicultural City of Košice welcomes with dignity the thousands of visitors coming to Košice to see the sights, history, taste local cuisine, culture or sport. However, the statistics show that every year there are more and more foreigners settling down in Košice, who came here to work, study or due to the family or security reasons. They plan to stay in Košice for several years or for a long time.
At present, there is no binding document that would govern the integration of foreigners in the City of Košice, and this topic was not on a priority list for the City of Košice. Anyway, there is an interest to solve this issue and the City of Košice understands the necessity to deal with this topic. The elected representatives of the City create the vision of the City, initiate the changes and co-ordinate the proposed measures in everyday life.
Košice Integration Agenda was prepared as a document describing the benefits that the foreigners bring to the City. It includes the proposals that can assist in their successful integration and help avoid potential problems in future. The document specifies various groups of citizens living in the City and presents the updated statistics on their presence in Košice. It also describes the three possible scenarios for the near future and projections. Provided the City and its partners from public administration and non-profit organizations will be well prepared, the City of Košice will become a place where everyone feels like at home. The Agenda communicates the main idea of the City of Košice towards the foreigners: “We know about you and we are here for you“.
The Agenda represents a recommendation with the aim to present this topic to the representatives of the City to encourage them to start to work with it more intensively. Both documents, City Audit Integration Report for Košice City and Košice Integration Agenda are foundation to prepare the vision of the City in relation to the integration of foreigners and to propose strategic documents. The life, its variety, culture and also economic values in the City are also created by the foreigners. We have to learn to accept this fact.
Project INTEGRA is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
More information about project you find at www.integra-eu.net