KapaCITY - Final Conference

For two days we have been broadcasting live for you from atelier Svetlik in Nová Cvernovka in Bratislava. More than 30 speakers presented for you, more than 200 participants have watched us throughout the duration of the conference.

For you who wish to return back to some of the topics covered by the panel in the conference, or those who have not had a chance to participate, or have seen only some panels of the conference, we have prepared a video recordings of the panels. Presentations in Slovak are accompanied with simultaneous interpretation to English.


INTRODUCTION: Opening of the Conference 

In the opening panel of the KapaCITY conference you learnt about the project itself (Barbora Meššová, Human Rights League), its main activities and outcomes (Michaela Dojčinovičova, Human Rights League) and about current situation in the area of integration of foreigners in the Slovak Republic (Elena Gallová Kriglerová, Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture).

At the beginning of the conference representatives from the partner municipalities participating in the KapaCITY project greeted us in short videos: Milan Lichý, Vice Mayor of the City of Banská Bystrica, Eva Nemčovská, Vice Mayor of the City of Trnava, Matúš Vallo, Mayor of the Capital City Bratislava, Matej Ovčiarka, Director of the Regional Development Department of the Office of the Košice Municipal Region and Jana Červenáková, Director of the Union of the Cities in Slovakia.


PANEL: Local Policies and Foreigners in our Cities and Regions 

In this part of the programme were together with Barbora Meššová from Human Rights League learning about how municipalities take specific groups of foreigners into account in their local policies. Some have separate local policy aimed at integration of foreigners, some chose the model in which foreigners and their needs are reflected as a specific target group in all local policies.

Alena Holka Chudžíková from Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture will present their Manual on Creation of Local Policies of Integration and about advantages and disadvantages of various models of integration strategy. Milan Lichý, vice-mayor of the City of Banská Bystrica together with Ivana Kružliaková, Director of the Department of Social Affairs talked about the approach taken by the city of Banská Bystrica. Miriam Kanioková, spoke on behalf of the Magistrate Office of the Capital City of Bratislava, Tomáš Malatinec from Office of the Košice Municipal Region about their Territorial Integrated Strategy and Mária Kovaľová from Tabita Institute providing counselling services to Municipal Office of the City of Trnava introduced the process of community planning of social services in Trnava. At the end of the panel we learnt about the way magistrate office in Prague, Capital City of the Czech Republic, responded to these challenges from their integration specialist Jan Janoušek.


PANEL: Preparation of Municipalities on How to Work with Foreigners 

People who migrate find themselves in a new and unknown environment, strange to them, challenged by foreign culture and language. This life situation itself may result in fear, frustration, social anxiety and uncertainty. Municipalities play an irreplaceable role in their integration - being closest to everyday real life. Municipalities also have the best tools - so called practical policies to create space for peaceful life for everyone. In this part of the conference we have explored what employees of municipalities need to know about specificities of work with foreigners and which skills they need to respond proactively and work effectively with foreigners at local level.

Nina Galanská (Milan Šimečka Foundation) together with Elena Gallová Kriglerová (Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture) and Dáša Vranka Knošková (Marginal) discussed what employees of municipalities need to know to facilitate their work with foreigners. Michaela Dojčinovičová (Human Rights League) and Vanda Hlaváčková (Seesame Agency) introduced Online Educational Website for Municipalities: Following in moderated discussion Benjamín Bossaert from the Department of Languages of the Philosophical Faculty of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Lujza Urbancová from the Department of Slovak Language and Communication of the Philosophical Faculty of the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Jan Heinrich from Non-Governmental Organisation META - Association for Opportunities of Young Migrants in Prague and Lenka Šafránková Pavlíčková from Brno Department of Social Integration. Tackled on community interpretation, volunteering and intercultural mediation.


PANEL: Participation of Foreigners in Municipalities 

Participation of foreigners in the lives of local communities can take many forms - from various community activities, through voting to their participation in local policy making. Their participation may have many positive effects - it brings diverse communities closer, allows for adoption of targeted policies, increases trust of people in local institutions, supports active citizenship and strengthens foreigners´ sense of belonging which is crucial to their integration.

In this part of the programme of the KapaCITY conference we had a look at different forms of foreigners´ participation on the local level in Slovakia and abroad and at experiences of a range of stakeholders with engaging foreigners together with Alena Holka Chudžíková from Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture. In this panel, a human rights lawyer, Gregory Fabian and Venus Jahanpour, a founder or nursery and elementary school in Bratislava, articulated how migrants can be engaged in municipal affair. Later on Juraj Hurný from the Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava, Zuzana Gajdošíková from the Municipal Office of the City of Banská Bystrica, Nina Galanská from Milan Šimečka Foundation and Barbora Meššová from Human Rights League presented their experience and point of view. At the end of the panel, Zachary Gallant from the City of Unkel in Germany and Sabina Esp from Swedish City of Östersund brought the foreign experience and information about their practice.


PANEL: Communication with the Public 

In this panel Elena Gallová Kriglerová from Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture focused on the importance of communication about migration and integration of foreigners. Foreigners are becoming inhabitants of our cities. It is essential for them to feel welcome in the city and for the municipalities to count with them as regular members of the local populations.

Nina Galanská from Milan Šimečka Foundation and Diana Dobrucká from Neuropea Agency presented various views in why symbolic policies and related communication to the public and to foreigners themselves is important for achieving acceptance of foreigners and for them to receive sufficient information and participate in everyday life at the local level. Panel continued with videopresentations about lunch of mayor with “International” Bratislava Citizens, about multicultural Trnava and campaign I am from Košice. At the end of the panel Jan Janoušek from the Magistrate Office of the Capital City Prague presented about the campaign Praha Metropol of All. At the end of the panel, we managed also to respond to questions.


PANEL: Provision of Information to Foreigners 

Do foreigners feel informed about services provided by the municipalities? What innovative methods can municipalities, cities and regions use in order to get closer to their new inhabitants? In this panel Michaela Dojčinovičová from Human Rights League guided you through several positive examples of active approach of municipalities in provision of information to all its inhabitants regardless of their origin or state citizenship.

First, cultural mediators, Anna Barseghyan, Eleonóra Ďurišinová and Yaroslav Lysenko defined what information needs foreigners have. Followed by Dáša Vranka Knošková from Marginal, Lucia Gurbáľová, vice-mayor of the City of Košice, Zuzana Gajdošíková from Municipal Office of the City of Banská Bystrica and Viera Orichová from Community Centre for work and knowledge mobility in Nitra (COMIN) who presented their examples of providing information to local foreigners. Examples how the provision of information is handled abroad was introduced by David Beraha from Vienna and Jan Janoušek from Magistrate Office from Prague.



In the final panel Barbora Meššová (Human Rights League) introduces Recommendations for Central State Policies which should help to improve conditions for municipalities to adopt measure for local integration of foreigners.

Elena Gallová Kriglerová (Centre for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture), Dáša Vranka Knošková (Marginal), Nina Galanská (Milan Šimečka Foundation) and Barbora Meššová (Human Rights League) offered their concluding observations and recommendations.

We have prepared the Final KapaCITY Conference for you within the KapaCITY project.