"Cult Open" and intercultural competency in the context of integration of migrantsCurrent status of societal measures
Current status of societal measures
József Poór presented another topic in Hungary on 25 June, reflecting the ever-growing need for knowledge and the related development of learning.
The concept of learning has changed due to the high-speed Internet and the diversity of content on the Internet. Learning has been technologically integrated. In just one generation we have gone from traditional learning programmed to e-learning, integrated, talented learning and continuous learning. Technology is now enabling digital learning.
E-learning is a process of training or knowledge transfer supported by digital devices. In concrete terms, it can be described as an open form and framework of training that supports the efficient organization of training processes as well as proper communication and feedback between tutors and trainees regardless of time and space distances. The transfer of knowledge is stored in digital form and is obviously supported by ccomputers.
E-Learning is confronted with typical problems. Users can struggle with adaptability or technical problems. Time management and self-motivation are often also a problem. These challenges can easily be solved by changing the user's attitude or by using technical support. Other solutions include a scheduler or basic courses in computer literacy.
If these problems are solved, e-learning has a lot of advantages. Cost reduction, flexibility and learning efficiency are just a few of them. However, only 40% of employees in Hungary have used e-learning and only a third of companies are e-learning users.
Against this background, Poór conducted a study with the University of Szent István to get an overview of the dissemination and practical use of e-learning methods in Hungary. The sample of the study were large companies, sixty percent domestic and 65 percent private. The study found that almost half of them used e-learning for reasons such as efficiency, owner's desire, simple paperwork or standardization.
The use of e-learning gradually increases with the increasing turnover and number of employees of a company. In addition, statistical analyses show a significant correlation between the type of owner and the use of e-learning, although this correlation is significantly weaker. The study shows that the use of e-learning is lowest in domestic companies (42%) and highest in listed companies (86%). The main purpose is the training of office workers, the study showed.
Poór concluded that e-learning is a difficult and complicated, but mature market. Each company has its own personal reason for not using e-learning. While IT professionals are enthusiastically developing new and wonderful functionalities in e-learning systems, the appetite of decision makers in companies is there, but at a very low level.
After his lecture in Hungary on labor shortages and retention, Prof. Jozsef Poór made his way to Vienna on April 25th to speak about trends in external professional providers of human resource management in the light of three consecutive empirical surveys at the ESIAM conference.
Poór starts his presentation at the 34th workshop on Strategic Human Resource Management with an interpretation of consulting. He explains consulting as a form of help. Even though the industry is less than 150 years old, it is almost impossible today to find an area of business life that is not associated with some kind of consulting business. Consulting is characterized by the goal of solving the customer's problems or achieving the desired result for the customer.
Consulting has recently faced new challenges, such as changes in the direction of capitalism, innovation and culturally complex societies, and solving these challenges is not easy. The challenges have an impact on consulting, because clients begin with offshoring their consulting purchases and multi-sourcing, which means they choose consultants from different consulting firms to work together on projects. In addition, clients are becoming increasingly cautious with their spending and are paying close attention to the cost of professional services. Overall, the entire consulting cycle tends to shift from consulting to inquiry.
Poór presented three empirical studies. These studies showed that most HR areas recorded a dramatic decline in the number of companies in 2008/10. In the meantime, it appears that a number of companies, with the exception of the Eastern European cluster, use external providers. The effects of the financial crisis have therefore led to a decline in the use of external service providers. In addition, the results show that the occurrence of an HRM department increases the likelihood of using external service providers. In cases where the company has a human resources department, the use of external service providers is increased. The final conclusion from the studies is that larger companies are more likely to use external services than smaller ones.
Poór concludes his presentation with a quote from a top Austrian expert for the consulting industry: "With the presentation of the Constantinus Awards the professional association of consultants has set an exemplary initiative for exceptional quality of advice in order to make the quality of the local professionals visible".
József Poór, one of the team members of Cult Open, was holding a lecture about labor shortages and labor retention in Central and Eastern Europen Countries (CEE) in light of three consecutive empirical surveys at the International Conference on Management in Gödöllő, Hungary. He started presenting the issues causing the labor shortages followed by empirical surveys and a conclusion.
One of the many issues that are causing labor shortages and labor retention, is that the global economic activity continues to firm up. Furthermore, the employment structure is changing constantly along with the minimum wages. Minimum wages had a drastic change between eight and eighteen per cent in most CEE countries, but there still is a big difference between East and West. Additionally, the unemployment rates have changed drastically in a positive way as well.
Even though those positive changes have happened, the immigration is still causing CEE countries to lose valuable workers. Nevertheless, more and more labor workers are being replaced by robots. In 2016, per ten thousand workers, there were on world average 74 industrial robots.
Poór presented three studies over the course from 2016 to 2018 with a number of respondents between 200 and 700. The studies show that the value of turnover has been constantly increasing and that replacing an employee becomes more and more expensive. Furthermore, in 2016, the vacant positions in the examined organizations were on average for 11 weeks in 2016, 20 weeks in 2017 and 20 weeks in 2018. The most difficult position to fill seems to be the position of engineers and in the public sector, the health sector is the most affected area, especially doctors and veterinarians.
The studies were looking for the reason of labor shortages and turnovers and they found that low wages, labor shortages of professional workforce and war for labor / talent are the main cause. Luckily, ways are known that reduce fluctuation. A competitive pay and payment system are supposed to decrease the likelihood of turnovers. The same applies to performance evaluation and a premium system, as well as flexible working hours.
Poór concluded his lecture by supporting the opinion of experts that the CEE countries are assembly centers, not knowledge centers. For the future, it would be extremely important for more and more companies to move in the direction of increasingly automating their processes.
After their visit to Italy at the beginning of June, Prof. Genkova and Mr. Schreiber travelled together with Mr. Castner, member of the Competence Center “Global Competence” at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, to the Serbian capital Belgrade last Monday. From 17 - 18 June they were guests at the partner university Belgrade and visited Dr. Jovana Bjekic, employee at PIN, the Psychosocial Innovation Network.
PIN, in particular Dr. Bjekic, has already been involved in the Cult Open research and is also carrying out numerous other projects.
The NGO supports vulnerable and marginalized groups and tries to help them with various social and psychological challenges through psychological interventions and to improve their quality of life. PIN is currently cooperating with the Kahane Foundation on psychological support and counselling for refugees and migrants. The Psychosocial Innovation Network is working with UNHCR, the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, on several projects, including promoting the well-being of asylum seekers in Serbia and promoting a sensitive asylum system.
In addition, cooperation is being conducted with the Open Society Foundation Serbia, the European Union, the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and Citizens Association Atina, as well as the International Rescue Committee and the DIVAC Foundation.
The travelers discussed with PIN future project proposals and cooperations, as well as the joint Cult Open research.
The University of Belgrade is the oldest and most important university in the country and therefore cooperation with this university is a promising opportunity. Founded in 1808, Belgrade University is the second largest university in Southeast Europe. In addition, it is considered one of the most modern and one of the greatest contributions of the European peoples to the world cultural heritage. In addition to cooperations, Erasmus and contracts were discussed as well.
After all the new experiences and interesting and informative discussions, Prof. Genkova, Mr. Schreiber and Mr. Castner made their way back to Osnabrueck.
After long work and research on "Cult Open" Prof. Genkova travelled to Matera, Italy last week for meetings and lectures at the International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD). Since 2006, IFKAD offers a unique opportunity for international exchange. This year's forum, from the 5th to the 7th June, was dedicated to the topic "Knowledge, Ecosystems and Growth".
On Thursday, Prof. Genkova and Christopher Castner presented their results of Cult Open at the IFAKD under the title "Migration and Diversity Potentials for Organisation". The lecture refers to the fact that the successful integration of migrants into the labour market and into organisations is becoming increasingly important due to demographic change. The results of the project show that although employees in companies have recognised the importance of diversity, managers are not aware of the severity and urgency of cultural diversity measures. HR managers are not able to properly assess the additional stress of migrants and take it into account in their daily leadership and diversity activities.
Finally, the results were published in a peer review process and discussed with interested colleagues.
The session of their presentation was held under the theme "Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities: Value Creation and Innovation" and was led by Mauro Romanelli.
In addition to other project presentations in the same session, Prof. Wesselmann from the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences also had the opportunity to give the lecture "Networks for regional sustainability: A case study approach".
Further lecture topics and additional information on the International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics can be found here.
Development and promotion of public understanding
The promotion of pucplic understanding is very important. So Dr. Prof. Petia Genkova gave lectures on the Federal congress of school psychology and congress of German Psychological Society in Germany. Here you find futher information.
Which attitudes do the people have about migration?
This question shall be answered by corporate research work. Thereby the different priorities are mentioned. Currently different surveys are being conducted.
Which competences are necessary for a successful integration?
Currently the project partners are working on a model of competences.
Development of a corporate application for H2020
Much information is needed as well as concrete plans and targets. Currently the compilation of data is in the final phase.
After Prof. József Poór gave a lecture at the Hochschule Osnabrück in March, Prof. Petia Genkova travelled to Hungary this April. A meeting of the project coordinator with Dr. Henriett Nagy, Internationale Dean at the Szent István University, Prof. József Poór and Andrea Visztenvelt took place in Gödöllő near Budapest. Together with other project participants, the first results of the joint Cult Open research were discussed and analysed, including the collected results from the visit of Prof. Genkova to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In addition, the possibilities for further projects and Erasmus cooperations were discussed.
The discussions were followed by a lunch and then a visit to the ancient castle Gödöllő, the largest baroque palace in Hungary, which offered a pleasant and culturally rich conclusion to the day.
After her visit in Bratislava, Slovakia, the project coordinator Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova travelled to Brno, Czech Republic. There she met with her research partners Prof. Martina Rasticova, International Dean at Mendel University in Brno, and Prof. Clary Krekula. The topics of discussion primarily related to the future cooperation of the three professors.
As the joint project Cult Open is nearing its end, the first results of the joint research were analysed and discussed.
Cooperation on scientific and political topics is crucial and necessary for solving problems. COST Action, the European cooperation of science and technology, promotes scientific cooperation of cross-border networks through national research funds. For further joint research, a participation in a pan-European consortium of Cost Action is planned by the professors.
A basic research project is also planned at the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Czech Science Foundation (GACR). Furthermore, Erasmus cooperation’s were discussed.
In the middle of April, the coordinator of the project, Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova travelled to Bratislava (Slovakia) and had a meeting with Doc. Ing. Daniela Spirkova, PhD. to discuss about further common research and to plan the next steps. Dr. Julius Gojej, a collegue of Spirkova, also took part in the meeting.
Now, that the CultOpen project has expired, the application for funding for the FairFuture research project has recently been submitted. The project focuses on developing European cooperation in the field of integration of refugees and migrants and has the aim of improving conditions for them; especially in terms of living conditions and future perspective. The opportunity to receive education also looms large here. There are currently 15 partners from whole Europe involved in the project.
Doc. Ing. Daniela Spirkova, PhD. and her colleague could be convinced as partner for the project. In addition to expertise, they also bring in further contacts to other scientists, so that the European linkage and exchange can be expanded more and more.
It is also planned to write a joint paper for the Journal for Political Psychology, which analyzes and compares the situation of refugees and migrants in each country.
In addition, further collaborative research is planned between Germany and Slovakia. In this, topics such as the economic situation and housing conditions of refugees and migrants and attitudes and prejudices of the population should be linked.So the meeting was really successful.
So the meeting was successfully completed. During a visit to the castle of Bratislava, the participants also found time for further exchange and concluded the meeting.
Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova will now travel to the Czech Republic and Hungary to meet other project partner.
On Monday the 11th of March 2019, we had the honour to have Prof. Dr. Poor from the Szent Istvan Unviersity in Hungary as a guest professor at our university. His presentation about management in an intercultural context was not only informative, but also tangible. With his professional knowledge and experience in management, Prof. Dr. Poor drew lively connections between academic theories and the working processes of global players in the management branch. However, most interesting were his own experiences he shared with the students.
With his open and direct teaching style, Prof. Dr. Poor grabbed the attention of the students and lead them with enthusiam and patience through the challenging content of intercultural management.
By involving the class with interactive tasks and visual input in form of a video clip, important models and constructs of intercultural management could be understood with ease. Overall, Prof. Dr. Poor’s visit was not only an enrichment for our students, but also exemplary for the strong ties to the Szent Istvan University as a partner.
As previously announced, the official handover of the Höffmann Business Award for Intercultural Competence, worth € 10000, took place on 07.02.2019 at the University of Vechta (Germany). The project coordinator Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova is this year's winner. The ceremony was musically accompanied by the Höffmann-Youth-Choir of Vechta. As a guest of honour, Emery Kabongo, archbishop of the Vatican, attended the award ceremony, honouring Petia Genkova's contribution to society across national borders.
In his welcome speech, the University President Prof. Dr. Burghart Schmidt accentuated the high relevance of the topic of intercultural competence for a mutual understanding and a free cooperation. The Minister of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, Björn Thümler, also participated in the award ceremony and praised in his speech the award winner especially for the high practical transfer of the results of research. Especially, the transfer is important in order to induce a change and to be successful. This was also accentuated by the chairman of the selection jury, Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Egon. He also emphasized that Petia Genkova is engaged in training courses and practice seminars - beyond the boundaries of academic research - for the dissemination of the knowledge to businesses, authorities and the public. Uwe Bartels, chairman of the University Association Vechta e.V., also gave a speech. Especially, he talked about international discourse on intercultural competence.
The laudatory speech to Professor Genkova was given by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Preiser, rector of the Psychological University Berlin and Professor for Lifelong Learning. He explained how insecurities and fears are stoked in the public discourse by seemingly positive and actually destructive slogans. In the context of climate change, for example, this led to a carefree illusion that ends in hope and anticipation. With regard to Genkova's research on migration and its positive reception in culture and the world of work, it is important to keep an eye on items like satisfaction, success and health. "If we succeed in directing the perspective of success conditions instead of bad, migration will no longer be negatively occupied," said Preiser. He also emphasized the breadth of Genkova's research in cross-border intercultural competence.
Prof. Dr. Finally, Petia Genkova gave an informative but also colourful and vivid lecture on various aspects of the research field of intercultural competence. Among other things, she also addressed prerequisites, success predictors and ways out, giving a little insight into the diverse subject areas of her research. She concluded with a small appeal to the audience: "In a global world it is important not just to be on it, but to be part of it."
On 7th of February 2019, the Höffmann-Business-Award for Intercultural Competence is presented at the University of Vechta (Germany). The Award is part of a long-term project, which aims to the promotion of Intercultural Competence. It honours the opus of a scientific, who propounds excellent research activities to the subtopics of Intercultural Competence.
This special honour is issued to the project coordinator Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova.
Especially, the jury emphasise the great importance of transfer to praxis in Genkovas’ research activities as well as the extensive references to related disciplines. ”Petia Genkova exceeds greatly across the traditional level of cultural comparison.”, says Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Egon Spiegel, head of the jury. One focus of Genkovas research work is on the impact of migration for society and organisations.
The minister for science and culture of Lower Saxony, Björn Thümler, will participate to the award ceremony with a word of greeting. The solemn laudation for Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova is given by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Preiser, rector of the University of Psychology Berlin and professor for long-life learning.
Prof. Dr. Genkova feels honoured to receive the award. She explains: “The research had shown, that the relevance of Intercultural Competence for the society had risen enormously. Therefore it is a attention of mine to contribute to the promotion the Intercultural Competence.”
The coordinator of the project, Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova, travelled to Riga (Latvia), to have a meeting with Prof. Dr. Aija Klavina and to plan the further project schedule. Especially, the application for the federal program Horizon 2020 was reviewed. This application will be submit in January 2019.
Furthermore, the two project partner exchanged views about the different problems in Germany and Latvia, which occurred in the course of emigration and immigration. While Germany struggles with a high migration, Latvia has a negative population balance. So here the main focus is on reducing the emigration.
Other discussion topics were the financial planning as well as the project organisation. In the meeting they specified that Prof. Dr. Klavina will take on the position as quality manager.
In the end of the meeting there were an appointment with the rector of the Latvian Academy of Sport Education.
From 21th to 23th of November 2018 the conference ‘MobilityloT’ occured in Guimarães in Portugal. With the theme ‘Mobility of Future’ new innovative technologies were presented. Besides car manufacturing, e-mobility and sustainability also social responsibility and multiculturalism will be paramount. So it was of great interest, to be present and to share the knowledge of the project research.
The programme includes many keynotes and calls as well as poster presentations. Springer will publish a special magazine with all studies and articles.
1. The key topics of the conference were:
- Technological Innovation
- Urban mobility
- Smart Factory (Factory of the Future)
- Social mobility
The project partner Prof. Dr. Dagmar Cagáňová was General Chair of the Organizing Committee and also presented new studies about the importance of managerial skills for innovation support. Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova, coordinator of the project and member of the scientific committee, participated to the conference, too. Together with Jan Schneider und Christina Nuhn she gave a lecture. Also a networking session was hold about the project ‘’CultOpen’’. So new cooperation partners could be allured for an enlargement of the network. Besides both project partner assumed additional responsibility by being members of the ‘Scientific Board’ of the conference.
Here you can find further information.
Prof. Dr. Matt Flynn, one of the projects partners, is very familiar in with the Chinese culture, as well he speaks Mandarin. Within another project, he worked together with Louise Wong. Next to her main occupation as a manager by Wai Yin, she hosts a radio show by All FM for Cantonese speakers (Cantonese is one of the Chinese languages) in Manchester (GB). All FM 96.6 is one of the of the longest running community radio stations in England and a volunteer led organisation. The radio station is characterised by diversity: next to the normal radio show, All FM has a special program for South Asian, African, Afro Caribbean, Polish as well as Irish communities in the area around Manchester. So the radio stations makes a valuable contribution for intercultural communication and integration of the different cultures to the population of the UK. In Ms Wongs Cantonese show the different contributions are broadcasted in English as well as in Cantonese, so that both cultures can benefit from it. Here you find former information on All FM 96.9. Prof. Dr. Flynn visited this show and gave an interview. In this interview he provided information about the history of culture and the development of culture. Knowledge about culture helps to assemble a well intercultural cohabitation. Furthermore he talks about one of his different projects relating to diversity: In cooperation with Ms Wong he researched for the working conditions in the social health care with the focus on the elderly staff. The key questions was how to integrate these older people in the social care sector in a better way. Especially, the project focused the older employee, whose native language is not Enlish. So Prof. Dr. Flynns` interview redound to create attention and interest in the public for diversity (in age) and inter-culturalism.
Federal congress of school psychology and congress of German Psychological Society in Germany
From 20th to 22th of September 2018 the 23th federal congress of school psychology of Germany took place in Frankfurt (Main). Lectures on current topics, areas of problems und research results in the working area of school psychologists were given. The motto of the congress were: ‘heterogeneity unites’. School psychologists mingle with many different children and teenager – e.g. relating to performance or psychological problems. In the course of migration the topic heterogeneity were bought to the fore. The integration of children of refugees and migrants into the daily school business is attached with many obstacles. The lectures and workshops of the congress focussing new concepts for the handling of the challenge of heterogeneity. They should provide new input to the participants how to handle with diversity of pupils and how this diversity can be used as a chance. So there were – besides presentations about spelling and reading - numerous programme items about the topics integration and migration, e.g. a workshop about flight and traumata. One project partner, Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova, attended the federal congress and lecturing about migration and school. Thereby, she indicated influencing variables and areas of problems. The presence on congresses is important to build up public understanding and to push the exchange of knowledge.
So Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova also visited the congress of German Psychological Society. The congress were from the 17th to 19th of September in Frankfurt (Main) in Germany. With the motto ‘psychology forms’ the relevance of research to solve new individual and societal challenges were highlighted. Even on this congress the topics migration and inter-culturalism were highly relevant. Prof. Dr. Petia Genkova give a lecture about the subject area of handling with stress in connection with migration and also give to poster-presentations on the topics diversity in organisations and universities.
In the EU there was a radical change of population in the last decent. Each population is liable to a natural demographic change. Besides there is a change of population by immigration. These [change by immigration] is less adapted, so the population is affected by it in a larger way. While the natural change decreased continuous in the last ten years, the change by immigration increased.
This results in different new challenges of society. In this context the opinions of population, the economic and political effects of immigration and the integration of migrants loom large. The research had shown that the negative attitudes against migration increased strongly – especially in the European Union. The population is afraid of an increase of terrorism and foreign infiltration.
Last one is overestimated. A survey of 2014 had shown that many people evaluate the percentage of migrants in the own country as higher than it is. Another aspect that support negative attitudes is the way of managing the refugee crisis in the European governments. Many citizen did not please the way they [the governments] choose. But all in all a majority of European citizen support the asylum policy.
Like said in the beginning, the effects for economy are an important aspect in the changing. The labour market get new challenges to handle with. Particularly difficult is the handling of speech deficits, the integration in (social) networks as well as the recognition of qualifications form the home country. The financial effects on a country are different and depend on the characteristics of the single person. If the integration in the local labour market succeed, the financial expenses are little. In contrast the expenses for families and older migrants are often much higher. You can act on the assumption, that there is a changing through the years, because it needs time to integrate migrants in the daily life.
After integration immigration might help to handle with the skills shortage and to get new knowledge and skills. The financial inclusion of migrants was pushed by public as well as private initiatives. Each migrant get an European ID. Besides a central national registration was built up, which is linked with and European-wide registration. Banks get prepared for open bank accounts for migrants and to offer special products and micro-credits for them. So migrants get the opportunity to build up an independence. Organisations started to offer short-term-employments to migrants, so they get the chance to collect first work experience in the new country. Also the access to communication media (mobile phone and internet contracts) was dumped down. Especially, the cooperation of the private sector should be supported to provide exploitation of migrants in the labour market. More and more the cooperation of private and public facilities is occurred to support the financial inclusion. So trainings in schools and training centres were established to promote the speech education as well as the financial education of migrants. Other projects supports the cultural exchange and the integration in the social life.
The policy get also new challenges. Negative attitudes of the population have to be realized and scrutinized to push the public understanding. But also the borders have to be protected, illegal immigration must be stopped. It helps to establish cooperations with neighbour countries and to work together by the elimination of occurring problems in context with immigration. It is important to provide financial means for integration and to support private initiatives. Also it is important to observe the rules of the EU system of rules for refugees. This includes the correct registration. Policy should also support the social integration as well as the financial protection of migrants.
To sum up, it is important to adapt the process if needed and to keep up with a change as well as to learn from ‘best-practises’ of other countries.
Migration in the cooperating countries – a short overview
Altogether the partners of the project are from six European countries. In this field you get an overview of the countries and about the different situations of life of immigrants.
In Germany every fifth inhabitant has a migrant background (data from the German Federal Statistical Office). So for 18.6 Million people out of 82.6 Million are migrants. Two thirds of them are migrants of the first generation – that means they come to Germany by their own. The others are children or grandchildren of migrants of the first generation. In the last decade the percentage of foreign population increased continuously. In the year 2000 the percentage was 7.3%, in 2016 it was 9.2% (German Federal Statistical Office). Also the number of asylum seekers raised rapid in the course of refugee crisis.
Particularly in the years 2014 – 2016 many young people came to Germany to get asylum. So the conditions of admission were tightened. Only 2017 the number deepened slightly. Considering to that circumstances the policy in Germany was asked to develop strategies to integrate the new inhabitants into the different areas of daily life. To packages of measures were planned:
- Package of measures 1: open access to education (in every form)
- Package of measures 2: open access to universities
An important point is the recognition of appropriates from the home countries. This must be pushed on and on. Another focus is set on the promotion of young people. So children are integrated into schools and young adults get the access to university though a promotion programme.
Also in the Czech Republic the percentage of foreign inhabitation increased strongly. But compared to the other countries the Czech Republic received just a few asylum seekers. The percentage of asylum seeker compared to total population ranges by 0.01%. The government of the Czech Republic did not want to have fixed quotes of admission. In the course of refugee crises four integration centres were build up. This centres support asylum seekers to learn the speech, to find an accommodation and a job. But all in all integration is difficult. Many Czechs think very critical about refugees and met them with prejudices. About 60% do not want to have asylum seekers in the own country. This is a very big problem that has to be concerned. It is important to promote the intercultural interaction and the cultural understanding.
Hungary is set in the East of Europe. Thereby it has to handle with a strong immigration flow in the last six years. So the controls at the borders were tightened early and a transit zone was build up. Nonetheless the immigration flow sank not before 2018. So the conditions of admission are strict. Many applications for asylum were disclaimed. To follow the information of the media service there are very less offers for occupational, linguistical or county-cultural education. This hinders the integration in Hungary as well as the finding of a job. So it is hard for asylum seekers to build up a daily life. In addition there are many negative meanings about integration in the Czech population. 70% disagree with the statement: ‘Our country should help refugees’.
‘Distrust, discrimination and exclusion‘– so Zuzana Števulová describes the attitude of the Slovak society against refugees (Goethe Institut, 2018). More than the half of the inhabitants do not want to help refugees. In addition the government refused to receive non-Christian refugees for a long time. This discrimination did not stop till the last year. So there is a difficult initial situation for migrants. Therefore the number of applications for asylum is little. In 2016 only 145 people applied for asylum in Slvakia – that means a percentage of 0.003% of total population (Germany: 0.9%). It becomes clear how important it is, to try to change the attitude of the inhabitants and to promote openness and tolerance for other cultures.
Serbia: passed by many refugees, criss-crossed, used as ‘intermediate station’. There is a central reception camp near by the border in which the refugees find accommodation. After the registration the refugees were allowed to move freely in the country and also to leave the country. Nowadays it has changed. In 2016 a transit limit of 500 persons per day were inserted. So the refugees accumulate into the country. Nevertheless Serbia is only an interim stopover for the most refugees; they want to go to Germany, to Austria, to France – to countries were the chances for a new beginning are better. In Serbia only less applications for asylum are accepted. Also the integration is only rarely supported by the officially party. The government does not want to develop a systematic integration programme and only provides less money. So it is hard for migrants, to build up a new life in Serbia.
Lativa, which is located in the northeast of Europe, also struggles with integration. Until the end of 2017 234000 people found shelter in this small country (DeStatista, 2018). But the life of migrants is difficult. The National Alliance, one of the leading parties, propagandize a negative attitude against refugees. ‘That is no life’, said one Lativan asylum seeker (Source: Deutschlandradio, 2016). Asylum seekers get only 140€ for life in month by the Latvian state. With this money the asylum seekers have to finance the whole life (including an accommodation). The money is insufficient. And also the social integration is missing. To follow the results of a survey 70% of the Latvian inhabitants do not want to receive refugees in the country (Deutschlandradio).
The Latvian inhabitants do not show empathy and openness for the refugees. So it is hard for them to integrate into the society and to build up a new life. This is reflected by the population balance – despite refugee crises and redistribution policy of Europe Latvia has a negative population balance. That means more people leave the country than immigrate.