The European partners in the EU-Belong project met for the first steering group meeting in Salzburg, Austria, from September 28 to 29. EU-Belong is funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund with the aim of improving the socio-economic inclusion and sense of belonging of third country nationals. To this end, regional integration strategies based on a strong, intercultural approach are being developed in the 11 partner regions of Salzburg (AT), Donegal (IR), Poznan (PL), Timiș (RO), Arad (RO), Catalonia (ES), Navarra (ES), Västra Götaland (SE), Pomerania (PL), Emilia-Romagna (IT) and Leipzig (DE).
A first important step in this direction is training to strengthen the intercultural competencies of key players in the work with migrants. The different content focuses, target groups and possible synergies of the partner regions were an important agenda item. More information about the trainings for the Leipzig region can be found here.
In addition, there was space and time for a visit to the ”matchBox” Salzburg. The matchBox is a place for intercultural encounters and offers spaces for exchange, self-organized workshops, individual counseling and placement in work as well as a cooperative, open workshop.
Finally, recommendations for the next phase of the project were exchanged. This includes cooperation with important actors for regional integration, as well as an evaluation of the strategic development, which should benefit other interested regions.