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Norwegian experience on asylum seekers related issues discussed in seminar

On 19 January, the seminar “Relocation of persons in need of protection

and their integration – Norwegian systems and experience and challenges for Latvia” was held in Riga within the framework of Norway Grants 2009 – 2014 pre-defined project “Smart Governance and performance Improvement of Latvian Municipalities”. The seminar was organized by the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG) in cooperation with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS).

The event was opened by Mr Andris Jaunsleinis, Chairman of the LALRG, and Mr Steinar Egil Hagen, Ambassador of Norway to Latvia. Ms Mudite Priede presented challenges of Latvian municipalities regarding relocation of persons in need of protection and their integration in Latvia, followed by reflection of the current situation in Latvia given by Mr Dmitrijs Trofimovs, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior.

The Norwegian experience was presented by Ms. Marit Sjaastad, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) who explained the reception system for asylum seekers in Norway. The Norwegian model of settlement of refugees and municipal responsibility was explained by Mrs Nina Gran, Head of Unit in KS. Moreover, Mr.Settar AL-Jabri, Head of Youth Department of, NAV in Gjoevik spoke about introduction programmes, integration measures and access to municipal services, followed by Mr.Kristian Rose Tronstad, Senior Researcher at NIBR, who presented his research on welcoming and integration of immigrants in Norway.