The project DRIM – Danube Region Information Platform for Economic Integration of Migrants got underway on 1 January 2017. With the goal of achieving cohesion and economic development in the Danube region, DRIM's objective is to strengthen the capacity of public institutions to promote migrants’ economic integration, understood as fair access to employment, work and the improvement of skills. A multilingual information platform accessible online, as a mobile app, and in the form of a handbook will provide information on work and life in eight countries of the Danube region (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia). It will cover a broad range of topics from employment and entrepreneurship to education, workers’ rights and access to health services.
The DRIM project was launched publicly with a two-days kick-off meeting, which took place in Ljubljana between 6 and 7 February 2017. This important event for all project and associated partners in The DRIM Consortium was hosted by The Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) as the lead partner.
At the beginning the DRIM Consortium was greeted by the lead partner representative, dr. Kristina Toplak. Another lead partner representative, an assistant director at The Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) dr. Mimi Urbanc, welcomed the partners. It was also a great honour to receive a welcome address from Danube Transnational Programme representative, Johannes Gabriel.
One of the speakers at the kick-off conference was the DRIM project leader dr. Martina Bofulin, who believes that DRIM project’s “work can be seen as finding pathways through a bureaucratic maze, so that others who follow would stumble as few times as possible”. Goran Lukić from Ljubljana’s Counselling office for workers agreed about the importance of effective access to information for migrant workers and expressed hope that this project will enable organizations like theirs to get easy access to information about the key institutions and organizations. Later in his presentation. internet activist and artist Vuk Ćosić stressed migrant’s orientation and user experience. In order to successfully support migrants and their integration we need to understand their perspective.
The present partners agreed that in Danube region there is a lack of not only measures and basic infrastructure for migrants’ integration, but also lack of knowledge transfer from research institutions into other relevant fields of society (policy, migration, civil society, etc.). Therefore, the kick-off meeting provided the foundation for successful future cooperation between all the organizations included in the project and other key institutions in their network.