(05 May 2017) – The Austrian capital is home to tens of thousands of people of foreign origin, migrants and refugees, and has to ensure their integration in a political context dominated by the extreme right, populism and Islamophobia.
With Germany and Sweden, Austria is among the European countries that have hosted the largest number of refugees per capita in 2015. Most of them live in Vienna, a city whose ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, even before the arrival of Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi refugees, is a major political challenge.
Integration courses have recently been organised to explain how Western societies work: values, human rights, the primacy of the Constitution over religion, gender equality … They teach people how to sort waste, explain the different types of work contracts… But some challenges will not be solved by integration courses.
Mirjana Tomic has authorized us to publish this article, originally published in Jot Down, the cultural supplement of the Spanish daily, El País.