Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Vienna
Fast population growth in the city of Vienna is largely related to international migration.
Long-standing migrant communities represent half of Vienna’s population. In 2016,
50% of the inhabitants had migrant backgrounds, and since 2015, the number of refugees
and asylum seekers in the city has increased. Since 1971, the city has developed dedicated
administrative structures and local policies for migrants. A dedicated municipal unit
(MA17) oversees how departments achieve migration-sensitive standards in their respective
policy fields and produces the yearly Vienna Integration and Diversity monitoring
report. A good practice is “Start Wien”, a comprehensive coaching and information
programme addressing newcomers (including asylum seekers) for the first two years
after arrival. After that, foreign residents benefit from non-targeted measures, for
instance from a programme fighting labour market exclusion of low-skilled groups.
Vienna has avoided high segregation due to its large and well spread social housing.
However migrants can only access it after five years of residency in the city, before
which they rely on private rental market. Vienna establishes close contacts with migrant
associations and NGOs at the district level and engages public consultations when
formulating integration concepts. This report sheds light on how the municipality
and non-state partners work together with the other levels of government for sustainable
migrant and refugee integration.
Published on July 26, 2018