Vienna, 18 December 2013 Press release

Kurz on International Migrants Day: Integration is an important sphere of activity for the new Austrian Government

Second year of kindergarten education and simplified recognition of international qualifications as the first important steps

Vienna, 19 December 2013 - 1.6 million people with a migratory background live in Austria. "With their contributions to our economy, society and culture, migrants have made their mark in Austria", Austria's new Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said on the occasion of the International Migrants Day on 18 December. "The work programme of the new Austrian government is the first in the country's history to contain a bundle of measures for the integration of migrants in terms of employment, language and society", Kurz said, who will remain in charge of matters of integration also in his new role of Foreign Minister.  

Promotion of language development and nostrification of qualifications 

Major progress has been made in these fields over the past two and a half years since the opening of the State Secretariat. "We aim to stay on the set course in the next five years and intensify our efforts", Kurz said. Better – and above all early – linguistic integration of migrants will remain a priority issue. A first milestone project in this respect is the introduction of a second compulsory year of kindergarten education for those who need it and the expansion of early childhood language promotion. Easier recognition procedures for professional and educational qualifications gained abroad will be another focal issue. "We must increase our awareness of the potential that migrants in Austria have and benefit from it as much as possible", Kurz concluded.

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