On 28 July 2022, the Federal Minister for Women, Family, Integration and Media of the Republic of Austria, organised a conference on ministerial and state levels to address current trends and challenges for integration in Europe. ICMPD’s Director General Michael Spindelegger, attended the conference and pointed out that both, refugee hosting countries as well as refugees need continued international support.
Attended by more than ten Ministers and State Secretaries, as well as representatives of Cabinets of all EU countries and numerous international organisations, the Conference was focused on Ukrainian refugees. It served as a platform to exchange experience that was made since the breakout of the war on 24 February, 2022. Two working sessions, one on best practices and the other one on looking ahead formed the backbone of the conference, while the other one focused on identifying the challenges ahead.
ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger delivered a scene-setting speech, in which he drew conclusions from the recently published “Austrian Integration Report”. “Our European labour markets need qualified and motivated workers and we should not miss the opportunity to utilise all existing potentials. But we also should not forget about communicating and teaching the values and fundamental principles of our societies and our legal and political systems. This supports integration but, equally important, it is the only way to ensure the acceptance and the support of our citizens for migration and integration.”
The annual conference was held for the second time and ended with the remarks closing remarks by Susanne Raab, Federal Minister for Women, Family, Integration and Media. She thanked all participants for joining together in this European endeavor.