The 1st Knowledge Transfer Workshop in the framework of the ERIS project that took place on 11th – 12th March 2014 in Vienna gathered more than twenty experts from Austria, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, the University of Vienna, IOM and ICMPD. The workshop discussed five main topics that had been identified by the three partner countries in the project, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation, in the course of previous project activities. The experts exchanged best practices and lessons learnt in particular areas of integration policies, such as welcome and orientation courses, integration centers, language courses and language testing, integration agreements and pre-departure integration measures.
The high levels of professional expertise as well as the various backgrounds of experts coming from state authorities, NGOs, international organizations or Academia positively contributed to quality of the very targeted presentations and discussions. Austria was represented by the Federal Ministry of Interior, the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and International Affairs, the Austrian Integration Fund and the Vienna Integration Center. The Czech Republic sent experts from the Ministry of Interior and the Prague Integration Centre. Experts and officials from the Federal Migration Service and Rossotrudnichestvo represented the Russian Federation. Representatives from IOM Moscow, the ICMPD Competence Centre for Legal Migration and Integration and academic researchers from University of Vienna completed the group.
To conclude the intensive information exchange between the ERIS partner states, the countries agreed to organize joint work visit to Austria and the Czech Republic in spring/summer this year. Furthermore, ICMPD in close cooperation with the experts will develop a document “Best Practices on Integration Policies and Measures” that will present and summarize integration know-how presented at the Knowledge Exchange Workshop and during previous project activities.