AUSTRIA: our local activities

Type of activity: All the organized activities followed the scheme envisaged by the project through the shared road map. This report contains the activities deemed of greatest interest for the results obtained and for the achievement of the expected objectives.

Country: Austria

Partner: BEES

Description: Local activities in Austria were designed by project partner BEES. Their activities are divided in different steps, connected each other.

First activity: “Introduction to the project and to the topic of the EU Youth Dialogue”: in this field the project has been presented by introducing its activities and benefits for people involved in. The activity included the space for the finalization of the Local Working Group through a safe-space introduction, going through the plan for role and responsibilities, and inviting them to co-coordinate workshops and activities with the participation of them and policy makers.

Second activity: “Sharing experiences and sharing food”: after the finalization of local team, activities started. This activity was connected with the theme of immigration, as the core topic of the project. Participants shared different experiences they had growing up and living in Austria. While not shying away from sharing faults of our society, need to define integration emerged. Migration and integration are both not considered to be value-free words, because they have a negative building block. Participants concluded that migration points to a continuing movement and that integration is most often thought of as a part of immigration.

Third activity: “Coming up with strategies for better integration”: participants agreed that initiatives such as this project are very positive, and are a good start; but that they attract people who are already opened to discuss integration and are open-minded when it comes to meeting people from different societal backgrounds. The sensitivity to this issue must also be discussed in politics more than in grass-root debates, so that the seriousness in public gain more value. Newspaper articles with suggestions on how to do this are more important than just describing the problem. Many do not know how to close this gap of integration, instead they are notified with statistics or information about the current state of affairs. The schools in which a large proportion of children with a migrant background are visited, teachers are often overwhelmed with the different cultures and mentality of the students, they usually get through the education to cope. In order to achieve successful integration at a young age, this would require the promotion of classes and students in the schools concerned. In the various federal states, the participants find that the interaction of different cultures and integration is successful. However, at this point there was a difference of participants. The second part misrepresents the opinion that the lack of space in Vienna and the various nationalities mean that citizens are more open to a different culture and interaction because living together can be successful.

Aim: Aim and objectives of the activities are different as follow:

  • To get in contact with the topic of the EU Youth Dialogue;
  • To have a clear knowledge about the project, its activities and its long term benefits;
  • To deepen the topic of immigration and integration by analyzing tools and best practices around Europe;
  • To discuss and underline personal and different experiences of integration;
  • To develop strategies for better integration.

Main results: Explanation of the most important topics connected with the project. Conversation about integration of migrants and development of strategies; creation of the material for the draft of recommendations; sharing of ideas and tools starting from each personal experience.

Target group: Young migrants based in Vienna and surrounding areas aged 18-30 years old; Policy makers and decision makers without age limits; general public attending the event interested in the themes discussed.