On 5-9 December 2022, the implementing team of the Nordic-Baltic Initiative For-In (Fostering refugee and immigrant integration/For Integration) together with UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic countries, and partners are organizing the study trip to Denmark and Sweden for national and local authorities from the Baltic countries.
The aim of the study visits in Denmark and Sweden is to acquire the knowledge about the local integration policies and cooperation with NGOs to reinforce local level reception/integration capacities and the development of holistic local level integration action planning in the Baltic municipalities. It is anticipated that through meetings and discussions at hosting municipalities in Denmark and Sweden regional networks of integration practitioners will be built to further facilitate knowledge exchange.
The Estonian delegation will consist of representatives from the local governments of Tartu City, Pärnu City, Jõhvi City, the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities, the Estonian Ministry of Culture and coordinating project partner Tartu Welcome centre.
The Latvian members will be from the local governments of Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Balvi, Aizkraukle, also the representatives from the coordinating project partners Social Integration Foundation and Providus.
From Lithuania there will be the civil servants from administrations of city municipalities of Vilnius, Klaipeda and Siauliai, also Akmenė District Municipality. The delegation will be joined by a representative of the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the local coordinating partner Diversity Development Group.
On 14 December, 2022 Diversity Development Group will organize an online country specific seminar and group discussions based on the knowledge gained from the meetings in Denmark and Sweden by inviting the Lithuanian municipalities interested in competence building about the integration of newly arrived.
In Denmark the Baltic delegation will visit to municipalities of Roskilde and Gentofte where they will be acquainted with the local level integration ecosystem, including linkages to national level policies and municipal programmes, learn about the cooperation with civil society and NGOs, have meetings at day-care centres, language schools and private companies. The focus of the discussions will be on challenges, opportunities, and solutions – what works best. Site visits will be organized to places where integration services are provided, including language school and vocational training. The key NGO, Danish Refugee Council, will share their experience in working with municipalities.
There will also a meeting be organized at the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration where the overview of national level integration policies and linkages to integration work in municipalities will be presented.
An intensive program is planned in Sweden. During the visit in Malmö the Baltic partners will learn about Skåne Partnership in depth and meet representatives of Malmö municipality. Skåne Partnership is well known for its holistic and inclusive integration strategy of newly arrived refugees and immigrants focusing on long-term work for participation and knowledge. In Eslöv municipality the delegation will learn about the integration work together with different NGOs, including language tuition (ABF), digitalization (Studiefrämjandet) ‘Pippi power’ (Save the children), and labor market inclusion.
It is planned to have meetings with the NGOs which are providing integration services for refugees and immigrants, such as the International Women’s Association (IKF) and “Hej Främling” (Hello Stranger!)
In Lund municipality more knowledge will be delivered about the cooperation between municipality and NGOs to coordinate the activities addressing Ukrainian refugees’ situation in Lund.
About the FOR-IN project
The Nordic Council of Ministers offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic countries have launched the comprehensive FOR-IN integration project together with authorities, and NGOs from across the Nordic-Baltic region.
The project will run for two years (2022-2024) and connect various actors, ranging from ministries and municipalities to NGOs and actors with refugee and migrant background.
The aim is for the Nordic and Baltic countries to learn from each other’s experiences and ultimately, engage local actors and refugees themselves better in the integration processes. The project partners will learn from each other by participating in conferences, events, and study visits across the region.
UNHCR is supporting the project financially and acts as advisor, facilitating dialogue between the different participants in the project, and ensuring the participation of refugees and migrants. More >>