20 representatives from 10 organisations coming from 6 Alpine countries met in Dornbirn (AT) for the kick-off meeting of the transnational PlurAlps project. Over the next three years the project partners will work with rural municipalities and communities in the Alpine Space. Together they will work on social innovation and develop solutions for the integration of migrants.

People from other countries and regions have always come to the Alps and enriched societies. Today, migration is often pictured in a negative way. The PlurAlps project wants to change this by developing and promoting a welcoming culture in the Alps. This will help Alpine societies to cope with challenges of an ageing population and new migration models. Representatives from ten project partners from all over the Alps met on 11th and 12th January 2017 in Dornbirn, Austria, to get the project started.

After a welcome by Martina Rüscher, Member of the Vorarlberg State Parliament, the project team discussed all work packages. How can we describe the state of the art on welcoming culture and social planning instruments in the Alps? What do municipalities need to become welcoming communities? How can we contribute to capacity building on pluralism? The basis for a successful project is a diverse and smoothly functioning team: It has been created in Dornbirn, and all partners are highly motivated to cooperate within PlurAlps. The kick-off meeting inspired the participants to cooperate across national boundaries towards an inclusive and pluralistic Alpine Space.

PlurAlps has been chosen for funding by the EU through the Alpine Space Program in December 2016 and will run until October 2016.