The Communication Departement of the Košice City Hall in partnership with ETP Slovakia organized a press conference on 24. January 2020 and introduced new web site for foreigners living in Košice.

New trends in migration show that numbers of foreigners who come to Košice for work or study will increase. Foreigners who settle here, bring many benefits – they often create jobs for local residents by establishing new businesses, bring know-how, are qualified workers, contribute to the improvement of demographic indices – City population growth, moderation of City population ageing.

Most foreigners interested in long-term stays have different needs. They have to deal with life situations and problems like any ordinary resident. Their starting situation is, however, diametrically different from that of the majority population living in the City over the long term, who is able to understand the system, to master the language, to orientate themselves in the City, to understand the functioning of institutions, etc. In order to successfully integrate and live in the City, this group clearly needs support and assistance from self-government and other actors coming into contact with the different areas of integration – housing, education, employment, health and social care, cultural and social integration. 

„ETP Slovakia as a non-profit organization that initiates and implements various activities bringing together minorities living in Košice with a majority population, welcomed cooperation with the Košice municipality. The new web site is a step by which the city of Košice creates a positive climate in the city, promotes the coexistence of different cultures and engages different groups of inhabitants
,“ said Lenka Czikková, ETP Slovakia.

On the website, foreigners will find information, which help them find the way around the city while arranging documents and visiting offices, it provides them with contacts to organizations helping with the integration process, as well as tips for interacting with other foreign communities or minority groups, and especially with local residents.

This online center is the first of its kind in the Košice region, created by self-government.

The city of Košice is a university city that attracts foreign students and there are also many foreign companies established in the city. It is necessary to have a tool, which help them obtain information and contacts in order to integrate easier in our city,” stated The Mayor of the City Jaroslav Polaček.

“I am glad that in cooperation with ETP Slovakia we managed to create this information online portal in order to raise the awareness of foreigners living in our city. We realize that people who come here from abroad and want to settle here, lack a unified system and source of information. I believe that this site is a helping hand to foreigners who chose Košice as their new home,” said the Deputy Mayor Lucia Gurbáľová.

On December 18th several departments at the New Bulgarian University came together and organized a special event honoring 30 years since the fall of communism. The history, art, music and philosophy departments produced an exciting event which was attended by more than 50 people with various professional and personal background. In almost four hours the audience heard emblematic songs complemented by thematic stage design, audio excerpts and text readings. All that was organized around the theme of freedom and crossing borders, barriers and division.

During the opening speech by Metody Metodiev, an associate professor at the History department at NBU, presented the card game The Unknown, developed by RiskMonitor. The game raised great interest among the members of the audience many of whom were active participants in the events from 30 years ago and know very well what is to live without freedom and without information in an isolated society.

A project team member of RM made a short presentation about the purpose of INTEGRA project and invited the participants in the event to visit the project site and the resources, which the INTEGRA partners have developed. Several decks of the cards were given to the NBU library in order to be used at events and during lectures. 

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

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