Flanders introduces new immigrant course
Immigrants coming to live in Flanders are being offered a new course to help them integrate into society.
12 September 2008
BELGIUM -- The Flemish Integration Minister, Marino Keulen has unveiled a new course that will allow immigrants coming to live in Flanders to integrate and contribute to the community.
Entitled Social Orientation, the course will provide newcomers with lots of information about life in Flanders and suggest methods that can facilitate integration.
Newcomers from outside the EU will be obliged to make an effort to integrate and follow an integration route. They will also receive a new integration handbook which was unveiled by Keulen at a news conference in Brussels on Thursday.
The integration route includes Dutch language lessons as well as help in finding a job and a course about Flanders.
Absence from course may risk fine
The integration course is intended to provide more information about life in Flanders and suggest methods that can help to facilitate integration.
Immigrants who do not register risk a fine.
Lessons will not only dwell on traffic regulations and environmental legislation, but also highlight three basic principles of life in Flanders: equality between the sexes, the separation of church and state and freedom of speech.
In 2007, 15,000 people registered for the course. This year, 19,000 people are taking part. The figures should rise to 20,000 in 2009.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]