The Local Government’s Approach to the Integration of Foreigners in the Czech Republic

Eva Dohnalová

Eva Dohnalová completed her doctoral studies at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Arts, Charles University and works as a lecturer at CARITAS College of Social Work. Her research focuses on integration policies, especially at the local level, and social work with immigrants and intercultural work. As a practitioner, she has been working in several migrant assisting NGO’s.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this article is to analyse the readiness of local governments in the Czech Republic to implement their own integration policies. THEORETICAL BASE: The relevant theoretical concepts are based on migration studies and social policy. METHODS: This present survey is an explanatory multi-case study. The research set consists of five cities. The data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with political and professional representation of cities and experts from NGOs, secondary analysis of strategic and legislative documents. OUTCOMES: The integration policy of local governments is based on the principle of their individual voluntary commitment and is implemented only through time-limited projects. The binding definition of political and administrative responsibilities is a necessary condition to be set by the national government. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Social departments of local governments are the key institution dealing with the integration of foreigners in a municipality. Social work is therefore an essential profession that helps to design and implement a substantial part of the measures of municipal integration policies.

integration, integration policy, municipalities, local dimension, foreigners

p. 83-99