Peer-Review Exchange: Romanian Municipalities visit Vienna

Romania’s exposure to the migration phenomenon is quite recent. Migratory flows heading Europe in the past couple of years did not highly affect Romania. However the number of requests for international protection almost doubled in 2017 (3.394) compared with previous years (1.886 in 2016).

As host to about 65.000 migrants from outside the EU, Romania endeavors to constantly improve integration opportunities, facilitate non-discriminatory access to them and support dialogue and interaction between migrants, host communities and public institutions playing a key role in migrant integration. In this respect, learning from the experience of other countries is not only inspiring, but also enriching capacities to do better.

 The ADMin4ALL project organized a successful learning and sharing experience for a delegation of Romanian representatives from the General Inspectorate for Immigrations within the Ministry of Interior, Directorates for Social Assistance within the Municipalities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca and civil society. During three days between November 2nd and November 4th  2017, the delegation had meetings with IOM Austria, the Austrian Integration Funds, the Municipality of Vienna and with the Ministry of Integration, Europe and Foreign Affairs during a study visit to Austria.

The integration measures being introduced, were of particular interest for the delegation, including particularly: the numerous language learning opportunities, the development of a solid policy framework in a very short period of time, the resources dedicated to migrant integration along with clear publications and information on support available at municipal level, data gathering and analysis for evidence-based policy development, the framework in place for the recognition of diplomas and qualifications and last, but not least the way actual services are delivered to migrants and vulnerable cases.

One additional area where the Austrian experience has particular added value for the improvement of the Romanian migration support  framework in place relates to the coordination between the various actors involved in the integration process. Defining more clearly ‘who does what, how and with what resources’ appears to be one of the commitments taken by the delegation following the visit.

The participation in the study visit was highly relevant to the Romanian delegation. Having the possibility to expand their knowledge, be in contact with counterparts in other countries, learning about solutions to common challenges are all elements in support of the intense work of civil servants in the field of migration.