Migration is important to keep society in the Austrian Bregenzerwald functioning in times of brain drain and an ageing population. In the framework of the Alpine-wide PlurAlps project, the Bregenzerwald wants to get active for more pluralism. The foundation for this has been laid during a workshop on 18th March 2017 in Bezau.

Which services are important for a pluralistic society in the rural region Bregenzerwald? This question was at the centre of the workshop “Definition of measures/services for the Bregenzerwald”. Ten representatives from economy, tourism, education, regional development and municipalities collected ideas on potential new services to be implemented in the region.

Creative ideas for a welcoming culture

The proposals were creative and manifold: trainings for the registration offices in municipalities to end the culture of sending people on; creating awareness in enterprises for more pluralism for example by making good practices widely known; language cafés in which the local population can refresh its language skills. The participants defined six potential action fields: information for arriving/staying, human resource management in enterprises, housing services, associations, language skills, awareness raising for the local population. The ideas will now be prioritised and further elaborated so that implementation in the region can be started as soon as possible.

“Together we need to be successful in perceiving cultural diversity as a positive signal”, summarises Martina Rüscher, representative of the Vorarlberg government, the objectives of PlurAlps.

The Regional Development Vorarlberg is leading the Alpine-wide PlurAlps project and has organised the workshop on 18th March 2017 in Bezau, Austria, to prepare the project activities in the Bregenzerwald.

Video on the Workshop (in German language):