On the occasion of the launch of the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) 2011, the British Council Hungary, the Menedek Association, the Department of Public Policy at Central European University and the British Embassy in Budapest organized a conference on 14 April entitled “Equal Opportunities—Education—Labour Market: Who is in Charge?”
MIPEX aims to improve integration policies for immigrants within the European Union through the creation of an index at European level, allowing and developing in-depth debates within the framework of integration. (www.mipex.eu). The welcome and opening speeches were delivered by Simon Ingram-Hill, Director, British Council Hungary; Katalin Farkas, Provost/Academic Pro-Rector, CEU; Greg Dorey, British Ambassador to Hungary, and Zsuzsanna Vegh, Director General, Office of Immigration and Nationality, Hungary.
The event’s focal themes were the anti-discrimination, labour market mobility and education policies affecting migrants both in Hungary and Europe. The event brought together policy-makers, researchers and practitioners, nationally and internationally, to discuss the latest findings on integration policies, and to promote MIPEX as a tool for making informed decisions in connection with integration.
Distinguished keynote speakers, among them Martin Kahanec, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, CEU; Lilla Farkas, Equal Treatment Authority, President of the Advisory Board; Aary-Tamas Lajos, Commissioner for Educational Rights, and Judit Toth, Assistant Professor, University of Szeged, highlighted the main challenges within each of the three focal areas. The practical challenges of constructing the MIPEX index for Hungary were discussed from the national, but also broader European perspectives. The themed break-up sessions provided a further chance to elaborate on the main challenges for the future, bridging the academic and practitioners’ expert viewpoints.
The discussions led to a rich set of lessons on immigration and integration policies. A large number of participants from a wide range of backgrounds marked the importance of immigration and integration policy challenges from the Hungarian as well as European perspectives.