Reinforcing the role of Czech towns in the integration of labour migrants
Type of Information
Multicultural Center Prague
Jan Dítko (Einloggen um Email zu versenden)
Contact Person Function
This project aimed to empower Czech municipalities in fostering the integration of foreigners at the local level. The core of the project focused on networking foreigners with local institutional actors and helping municipalities to formulate tailor-made integration strategies. The project also worked to engage foreigners informally in decision-making processes and paid special attention to the unsatisfactory situation of labour migrants in the Czech Republic.
Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption
In 2016, over 460,000 foreigners lived in the Czech Republic, comprising 4.5% of the population. Official representation of foreigners at the community and municipal levels is virtually nonexistent. There is a lack of knowledge on the issue of foreigners’ integration among public administration officials. Furthermore, serious problems concerning the position of foreign workers on the Czech labour market exist; foreigners often work in precarious positions and their employment potential remains unfulfilled.
This project started from the premise that integration happens primarily at the local level. Thus, the local community can either benefit from immigrants’ potential or suffer the consequences of their social exclusion. The overall aim of the project was to support municipalities in adopting a strategic approach to integration.
- Sharing of experiences and mutual learning on local integration policies and best practices between municipalities in the Czech Republic and other European cities (Berlin, Dresden, Brussels)
- Building a supportive network of professionals involved in integration
- Fostering efficient communication and cooperation between local bodies and economically active foreigners in municipalities
- Supporting migrants’ orientation in the Czech labour market
- Increasing the qualifications of local and state administrations in the field of migrant integration
How does it work
The project aimed to introduce integration as an aspect of municipal strategic planning, provide municipalities with the means to involve foreigners informally in decision-making processes and raise awareness of the subject of integration among public administration officials through tailor-made educational activities.
- Carried out research among foreign workers and employers in the Czech Republic on current practices in the employment of foreigners
- Organised simulation workshops on problems concerning employment of foreigners, in order to improve knowledge among public officials on the subject
- Organised participatory integration workshops in Czech municipalities with substantial foreign populations to approach the subject of integration at the local level in a strategic manner. This included evaluation of foreigners’ integration in different municipalities, identifying key topics and elaborating detailed action plans. The project actively sought the participation of foreign residents in the evaluation and planning process.
- Conducted study visits with Czech civil servants and representatives from local governments and municipalities in Berlin and Brussels, with a focus on getting in touch with successful local integration projects and their involvement in local decision-making processes.
- Created an online helpdesk for Czech local and national administration officials, with an overview of legislation, a competence map and selected good integration practices
- Created a methodology for the strategic approach of municipalities on integration, as well as an integration manual for Czech municipalities
Project results and outputs
- Formulated recommendations for proposed amendments to the law on foreigners
- Organised 5 participatory workshops. In Prague, a strategic workshop was organised to create a municipal concept for foreigners’ integration. The participatory workshop methodology was used in other municipalities to define integration priorities in community planning, make an initial assessment of the integration situation and connect local integration stakeholders with immigrant communities.
- Organised an international conference discussing the experiences of various municipal, non-governmental, academic and business actors regarding the involvement and participation of foreigners in decision-making processes
- Conducted detailed analysis of local integration climates and key actors, as well as a socio-demographic analysis of local immigrant populations, which were handed over to municipal authorities
- Helped local and municipal integration actors adopt a strategic approach to integration and facilitated the establishment of a network of formal and informal integration actors
- Facilitated creation of new direct contacts between immigrants / immigrant communities and institutional actors
- Allowed participating immigrants to gain a deeper understanding of municipal administration systems and provided an opportunity to influence the shape of integration measures
- The project continued to re-develop and adapt the participatory workshop to other situations where the involvement of socially disadvantaged populations in planning process is required and/or desirable.
Interactive segments of the project (participatory workshops) were evaluated by means of a survey carried out among its participants, with approximately 200 questionnaires gathered.
Who will benefit?
The project targeted local institutional actors and municipalities, as well as immigrants and immigrant communities.
Source of funding and Resources used
This project was supported by the European Social Fund in the Czech Republic in the amount of 8.5 million CZK (approximately 315,000 EUR).