Values and Orientation Courses presented in Carinthia

Integration Minister Kurz, Province Governor Kaiser and Director of the Austrian Integration Fund Wolf present Values and Orientation Courses for Carinthia.

Klagenfurt, 9 June 2016 – Today, Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz, Province Governor Peter Kaiser and Director of the Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, ÖIF) Franz Wolf presented the implementation of Values and Orientation Courses organised by the ÖIF in Carinthia. In these courses, the fundamental values governing coexistence, codes of conduct and social norms and standards in Austria are shared with persons entitled to asylum or subsidiary protection. Like the German language courses, these Values and Orientation Courses will become mandatory and will be linked with the opportunity to introduce cuts in needs-based social benefits including in the needs-based minimum benefit system should the person entitled to asylum refuse to attend these courses. In a first pilot phase, a total of ten Values and Orientation Courses have been held in Klagenfurt and Villach. 

“We started to address the issue of the sharing of values at a very early point in time, and at the beginning of the year launched the roll out of Values and Orientation Courses across the whole of Austria. It is a fact that a key prerequisite for the successful integration of refugees is their full and absolute respect for the rules and values governing our society, for equality of men and women, the freedom of opinion and of expression as well as the rule of law. I am pleased that in cooperation with the Province of Carinthia and the Austrian Integration Fund and following a successful pilot phase, we are now also implementing Values Courses directed at persons entitled to asylum in Carinthia”, Minister for Integration Sebastian Kurz stated. 

The Values and Orientation Courses operated by the ÖIF are a key activity included in the “50 Action Points – A Plan for the Integration of Persons entitled to Asylum and Subsidiary Protection”, adopted by the Ministerial Council at the beginning of January. The courses’ concept and the content shared were prepared by a working group of the independent Expert Council for Integration led by University Professor Christian Stadler. For participants who understand very little German, assistance is provided during the courses by interpreters for Arabic, Farsi/Dari and other languages most frequently spoken by this target group. Classes are designed in seminar-format with alternating presentation and discussion elements, and are attended by small, mixed groups of about 15 men and women. 

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