Challenges of Integration – International Conference (2017)

Challenges of Integration – International Conference (2017)

On June 8 and 9, 2017, experts from several European cities and Canada, together with Czech colleagues, discussed the experience with the integration of foreigners in the inspiring environment of the Baroque Clam-Gallas Palace. Conference "Challenges of Integration - International Conference on the Integration of Foreigners in the City of Prague"; Sharing examples of good practice was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) together with the Prague Integration Center and the Word 21 organization on behalf of Prague City Hall.
The conference was opened by the Chairman of the City Council for Foreigners Integration and a member of the City Council, Ondřej Mirovský. He stressed the fact that Prague has always been a place where different cultures met and life in it has always been influenced by migration. Migration and integration of migrants is therefore a natural part of the modern metropolis. Today, foreigners in Prague make up almost 15% of the population, and millions more visit it annually. The city is aware of this fact and therefore elaborated the Concept of the City of Prague for the Integration of Foreigners, established the Prague Integration Center and also commissioned research dealing with the status and life of migrants in its territory implemented by Institute of Sociology.
Mr Mirovský was followed by Lucie Sládková, Director of the International Organization for Migration, who spoke about the challenges of integration and the aims of the conference and moderated the whole conference. After the presentation of the Prague City Hall, which focused mainly on the definition of priorities within the Concept for the Integration of Foreigners and on partnership and cooperation with regional partners and individual city districts, four foreign participants spoke - from Spain, Finland, The Netherlands and Canada.
The second day of the conference was very lively and interactive, because in the morning a panel discussion was held with open contributions from the municipalities of Brno and Pilsen, as well as Prague 14, Prague 4 and Prague 7 districts to outline topics for discussion and to point out places in the process of integration of foreigners that still have their weaknesses and carry numerous pitfalls. The afternoon session was devoted to two concurrent workshops.

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