Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Vienna City Hall, Grauer Salon
Sandra Frauenberger, City Councillor for Integration, Women's Affairs, Consumer Protection and Staff, Vienna, Austria
Panel discussion with:
Lucia Fresa, Comune di Bologna, Cooperation and human rights office, Bologna
Helmuth Hartmeyer, Austrian Development Agency
Shams Asadi, Humen rights coordinator City of Vienna, Austria
Martina Schlapbach, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (DEZA)
Alexis Nshimyimana Neuberg, Afrika Vernetzungsplattform in Austria (AVP)
Annelies Vilim, Global Responsibility - Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Chair: Michael Fanizadeh, VIDC – Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation
The Afrika Vernetzungsplattform (AVP), the Südwind Agency, and the VIDC, in cooperation with the Karl-Renner Institute 2013 are organizing the first Austrian forum on migration and development. Behind this forum stand the current international debates on migration and development on the European and UN-levels. Among other topics, the discussions cover the need to recognize the efforts of the Diaspora communities for the development of ancestry- and assimilation-societies. Even with all the successes of the AVP and the numerous other Diaspora initiatives in Austria, there is no question that migrants are still underrepresented in professional development cooperation institutions and in the implementation of official and government-funded development projects. Aside from the national level, local governments offer possibilities for the involvement of Diaspora-organizations and –initiatives, which even with their know-how are often not taken seriously and are not adequately supported.
With reference to examples of good practices in Switzerland and Bologna, opportunities for the mobilization of Diaspora involvement in Vienna and Austria should be discussed. For example, the Swiss global program Migration and Development has a budget of CHF 8.5 million (€6.9 million) and in 2013 encompassed 30 projects. The total investment of the head office for development and cooperation (DEZA) in the migration and development sector adds up to CHF 67 million (€54.8 million). In Switzerland this includes the promotion of positive aspects of migration and the diminution of negative aspects in the foreground, with a hope for a coherent development policy and with consideration for political interests in migration.
The event takes place as part of the EU project CoMiDe. CoMiDe began in April 2011 and is a three-year project promoted by the European Commission and the OEZA. The question of the creation of a coherent migration and development policy at the national and EU levels is in the foreground of this project. This should initiate further cooperation between development policy NGOs and migrant organizations, and communities in Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Austria. Ultimately the goal is to push the understanding of migration as a result of global inequality in development policy discussions. More information about the project can be found at: www.CoMiDe.net.
Produced with the assistance of the European Union. The views expressed during this event can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.