Vienna, 28 March 2017 Press release

"Integration law approved by Austrian Council of Ministers"

“From now on there will be better framework conditions for this long and difficult road to integration”, said Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz,

relieved that the law he proposed in August has now been approved.

The new integration law regulates the central framework conditions for the integration of people who want to settle in Austria: We need clear rules and regulations in order to achieve social solidarity and social peace. “Integration through performance” is the principle this law is based on. People are not judged by their country of origin but by their will to contribute to Austria. The main goal of this law is to promote and call for integration.

This will be achieved by providing integration opportunities and by defining an obligation to contribute. The law regulates a consistent and binding system for German language and values courses by a mandatory integration declaration, a state-wide unified integration exam, higher quality standards including penalties and better controls. The law also bans full-body veils and the distribution of pamphlets by radicals. The introduction of integration monitoring and a research coordination office will bring about more transparency and a better exchange of data. The integration law is complemented by an “integration year law” which makes the performance of community-based activities in the public interest compulsory for persons entitled to asylum or subsidiary protection and asylum seekers with a high probability to be granted asylum. This is meant to ensure long-term integration into the labour market. An assessment of competence as well as German language and values courses are part of this one year of integration.

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