The Slovak local YOUMIG kick-off was held in the Town Hall of Rača municipality, on May 22nd 2017. The meeting was organised by Rača municipality in close cooperation with INFOSTAT, the Institute of Informatics and Statistics, both participating in the YOUMIG project as partners.

Rača is a beautiful city zone located between Little Carpathians and Danube Lowland on an area of 2,360 hectares and with 23,165 inhabitants. Rača is famous for its rich vineyards and vine-producing traditions, beginning in the Roman era. The vineyards of Rača are located on the southern hillsides of the Little Carpathians which are 150 – 300 metres high. The oldest evidence of settlements in this area comes from the end of the 8th century.

City zone Bratislava-Rača is located 8km from the city centre. The first written document mentioning Rača is from 1226.  Historically Rača was an independent community, known as Račišdorf. It included 3 sections: original Rača, Východné and one of the oldest neighbourhood town units – Krasňany. The earliest archaeological discovery found in this area is a stone axe used in the 3rd – 2nd century B. C.

Contemporary migratory movements in Rača are not very dramatic, but the number of valid stays within the territory indicates an increasing tendency.  By participating in the YOUMIG project Rača municipality expects to contribute to better standards in the registration of population migration. The communication, exchange of experience and finding common solutions in the field of migration with national and foreign partners should contribute to better opportunities in influencing migration processes in line with the interests of the municipality.

Opening the event, Peter Pilinský, the Mayor of Bratislava-Rača and the local partner project manager of YOUMIG, highlighted that migration is currently among the very relevant topics in Slovakia and the municipalities and local stakeholders should take an active part in dealing with all challenges migration brings. Branislav Šprocha, Head of the Demographic Research Center at INFOSTAT, presented the project in context, more specifically its aim, methodology, already existing data on youth migration and motivations for engagement.

The press conference was an important part of Rača’s kick-off meeting, where YOUMIG was introduced mostly to local media including TV Bratislava, where a spot was broadcast. The participation of young students from the Secondary School of Mass Media and Information Studies in Bratislava was encouraging and students were actively interested in the issue of youth migration.