Multicultural integration service
Bucharest is the capital and largest city, as well as the cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. Bucharest Municipality was first public local authority in Romania and South-Eastern Europe in 2016 to create a specialized unit to manage migration in all its forms – Department for Integration of Foreigners and Diversity, nowadays Multicultural Integration Service (MIS).
The unit is created using the model of the Department for Integration and Diversity from Vienna. After creating the Multicultural Integration Service, Bucharest Municipality became an example of good practices and exchange of experience. The Multicultural Integration Service was created following the recommendation, the request and with the support of the Council of Europe and European Commission.
The Multicultural Integration Service’s priorities are the following:
- Local integration of foreigners and Romanians with migrant background
- Mediation and intercultural mediation
- Implementing the principles of the Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe
- Promoting pluralism and encouraging diversity
- Respecting human rights and anti-discrimination
- Identifying and implementing projects with external funds in the field
- Exchange of good practices and experiences in the field
The Multicultural Integration Service coordinates the activities of Bucharest Municipality regarding: the reintegration of Romanian citizens with migrant background (reintegration in community) and their family members, the integration of foreign citizens living in Bucharest who gained or regained Romanian citizenship, the integration of foreign citizens who legally stay in Romania, the integration of persons with an international form of protection, and the reintegration of Romanian citizens who live abroad and intend to come back to Bucharest.
The Multicultural Integration Service also manages the relation of the institution with Romanian citizens with migrant background, foreign citizens present in Bucharest, central and local authorities with powers in the field, as well with international governmental organizations and NGO-s. The Service is also the contact point for Bucharest Municipality in the Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe.
In the context of the refugee crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine, the Multicultural Integration Service assisted about 4000 persons fleeing Ukraine. At least 2000 families came to Bucharest Municipality for MIS assistance. Assistance was required in the following areas:
- Information on regulations governing residence
- Information on the rights and obligations of foreign citizen on the territory of Romania, including transit
- Finding accommodation for middle and long term
- Referring to Romanian language courses
- Finding kindergartens and schools for children
- Finding Russian speaking doctors or at least English speaking doctors
- Finding jobs for migrants
- Assistance in preparing the file for regaining Romanian citizenship
- Support for the relocation of the family members from other cities from Romania to Bucharest and backwards
- Intercultural mediation
- Support for family reunion
- Support for voluntary repatriation
- Assistance for pets
- Other topics
The most important topics for newcomers were schooling for children, finding doctors, finding a job and intercultural mediation. The Multicultural Integration Service collaborated with subordinate institutions in managing the crisis of migrants. In particular the General Directorate for Social Assistance of Bucharest, the General Directorate of Local Police and Control of Bucharest, and the Administration of Hospitals and Medical Services from Bucharest. The Multicultural Integration Service was also assisted and supported by the General Inspectorate for Immigration – Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Multicultural Integration Service further intensified its cooperation with IOM, CoE, UNHCR to identify non-reimbursable external funds that can be used by Bucharest Municipality in its activities. It also takes part in implementing the national program of the National Employment Agency – „Ukrainian Citizens” and collaborates with Bucharest School Inspectorate. In general, the Multicultural Integration Service also helps other authorities involved on the process of local integration of migrants.
The presentation shared at the Includ-EU workshop 5 is available under this link.
Do you want to share your project with our community and stakeholders?