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Liechtenstein/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

Peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding between different cultural communities is a permanent Liechtenstein policy goal. On an international level, Liechtenstein is engaged at the UN, which reinforces the dialogue between countries, cultures and civilisations. The country is open to foreign labour and sets a high priority on integration. In recent years – even before the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 – this dialogue has increased. Numerous small minority groups representing approximately 90 nations reside in Liechtenstein. 

The main characteristics of the national integration policy are based on these principles: promoting and demanding. "Promoting" includes measures for improving mutual understanding between the host society and the immigrant population. "Demanding" means the expectation of efforts on the part of the authorities and all members of society, chiefly from the immigrants themselves.  Since 2008, the task of integrating all minorities and combating racism has been in the hands of the Office of Equal Opportunity.

Since 2001, the Association for Intercultural Education (ViB) – established on the initiative of the Office of Social Affairs (OSA) – has been responsible for a more simplified integration of foreign-language residents. It offers German courses, organises tours of museums and works together with the Swiss Umbrella Association for Reading and Writing to combat illiteracy. The minimally qualified and those with a history of immigration provide a high percentage of participants. Individuals lacking reading and writing skills run the risk of socio-economic, cultural and social marginalisation, according to the consensus.

Additional Resources:

Government's overall approach to intercultural dialogue

Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue

Key Resources

Chapter published: 12-11-2014

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