Special debate Business Group Education, Youth, Integration, Transparency
Vienna (OTS / RK) – GRin Dolores Bakos, BA (NEOS) said that integration is not about pitting people against each other or turning a blind eye to problems. Rather, it is about supporting people “with heart and mind” and enabling them to participate in social life. Integration means “participation and participation for everyone,” says Bakos. The city government has defined three thematic priorities in the area of integration: integration from day one; well organized structures and authorities; Deradicalization and Prevention.
GRin Mag.a Mag.a Julia Malle (Greens) was pleased that the “NEOS signature” was recognizable in the city government’s educational program. This also includes some longstanding “green demands” that NEOS now have the chance to implement. Overall, however, the proposals for the education sector are “a little too weak,” said Malle. She called on NEOS to show that they are “serious” by making the professional field of education more attractive, creating a better childcare key in kindergartens and eliminating social inequalities in the educational system.
GR Harald Zierfuß (ÖVP) has set himself the goal of “creating more awareness of the challenges in education” in the next few years. For example, the standard of education in reading and arithmetic at Viennese secondary schools is poor and the number of students per class is often too high in Vienna. Zierfuß also identified a shortage of pedagogues, which is why he welcomed the announcement by the city government to employ more support staff and school social workers. Zierfuß also criticized the fact that private providers would receive less than half of the grants than municipal kindergartens. He wanted that to be adapted “in the interests of fairness”. The city government must also address the issue of teacher shortages. Incentives should be created for them to avoid migrating to the surrounding area. Zierfuß submitted proposals on all of these topics. Two others concerned a “clear commitment to German support classes” and the improvement of the care code at care facilities.
GR Mag. Marcus Gremel (SPÖ) could see “nothing new” in the opposition’s motions. They would read like a “worst of opposition work”, according to Gremel. He responded to a number of these requests. The FPÖ criticized the lack of controls of the language level in kindergartens; Gremel reminded the FPÖ that such controls have long existed. There are more than 2,300 controls in the educational institutions, which also affect the language skills of the teachers. Gremel countered the ÖVP claim that private kindergartens would receive less funding than municipal kindergartens: The operation of municipal kindergartens would flow in more, such as longer opening times or higher expenses for children with disabilities. Regarding the application for improving the care key, Gremel said that this was also recorded in the city government program. However, there is a shortage of educators throughout Austria. First, the federal government must take steps to create incentives. In particular, it is about reforming training and better wages.
GR Mag. (FH) Jörg Konrad (NEOS) concentrated in his speech on the core topic of NEOS: transparency. The NEOS would “live” this especially when dealing with public money, because politics are “in the service of the citizens”, according to Konrad. In the next five years the focus will be on the following points: strengthening freedom of information; clean politics; Strengthening parliamentary democracy; Transparency in the public sector; Strengthening control rights and opportunities to participate. The city government creates this transparency, which can also be seen in some projects, said Konrad. For the first time there will be an anti-corruption ombudsman free of instructions, but also a whistleblower platform. A reform of the commission of inquiry, with which minority rights are expanded, is also being tackled. Furthermore, parliamentarism should be strengthened at the state and district level and a citizens’ question-and-answer session should be introduced to the district heads. The city government is also planning a “compliance officer” in the state parliament and a code of conduct for mandataries. The NEOS also want to stand up for the lifting of official secrecy at the federal level.
GRin Mag. Aygül Berivan Aslan (Greens) missed detailed explanations on the subject of human rights and integration in the coalition paper. On a total of 212 pages, only one page was devoted to the topic of human rights. For the SPÖ and NEOS, the subject has already been dealt with with the human rights office of the City of Vienna, for Aslan it is not enough. The human rights city of Vienna is “unworthy” of the fact that the subject of human rights is so brief. Aslan criticized the area of integration equally sharply. The topic has been reduced to language courses. That was “embarrassing”, said Aslan. Integration means much more than just language courses, it means access to better education, to better schools and universities, to housing and the job market. Integration means giving people the opportunity to participate in social life.
GRin Julia Klika, BEd (ÖVP) dedicated herself to the topic of transparency. She is pleased that there is now a separate city council for this, but incumbent Christoph Wiederkehr (NEOS) attested that he had given up his principles relatively quickly. For him, it’s more about “posting than real transparency,” says Klika. Wiederkehr has always demanded that the appointment of posts must be preceded by hearings. Now he has become a city councilor himself without such a council. She got the impression that the NEOS were already being shown “the limits of the SPÖ”, because even in the government program “the pink ones had hardly prevailed.” The NEOS had weakened or weakened demands that they had repeatedly made as the opposition party completely “buried” (cont.) sep
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