The city of Basel is ready to be the integration capital with some of their out of this world ideas on welcoming foreigners to the city.
The government in the city of Basel plans to invite each new foreigner to the Migration office for a “welcome ceremony”. The foreigner will be invited to the registration office for a short crash course about the city and how to navigate it.
This idea is to counteract the idea from the SVP who suggested that all foreigners from the third states (countries outside the EU) who plan to live in Basel for longer than 6months, should be invited to an hour long “Integration talk”. The Integration talk will work towards finding out how willing the person is to integrating into the society e.g. by learning the language, finding a job e.t.c. If the person shows signs of having no interest in integrating, they could be forced into signing an agreement where they would stipulate within which time period they should have learnt the language and/or find a job failure to which the foreigner might lose their right of stay. Expats would be exempted from this
The government has refused this idea thus their Welcome ceremony suggestion. They argued that the idea of forcing people who would be staying in Basel for only a year into signing an agreement was nonsensical and would increase the work load. It was also argued that the idea was against the Canton’s principles and against the federal law for foreigners.
The SVP party in the federal parliament is fighting against a new law to be added to the migration laws that stipulates that Foreigners should only get a permanent residence permit when they have attended the required language and integration courses. The SVP has argued that integration should be a personal decision and not a matter for the State to decide for foreigners. This goes against what the same party is proposing in the Canton level.