Several MPs are proposing the establishment of a “one-stop shop” for new immigrants in Iceland, Kjarninn reports. Left Green Movement MP Kolbeinn Óttarsson Proppé is the main proponent of a bill to that effect, which the group plans to introduce in the coming parliamentary term.
Immigrants currently account for nearly 12% of Iceland’s population of 353,000. Their number has never been higher, and never increased as quickly as in the past 18 months. Kolbeinn says the institution would be a place where new residents could go for information regardless of where they are from or where in Iceland they have settled.
“Whether its of one’s own accord or of necessity due to bad circumstances, everyone benefits from getting the best guidance about their new community,” the project proposal stated. “Improved access to information makes people’s change of circumstances easier and at the same time contributes to people becoming active in society much earlier.”
Regional organisations performing such work have sprung up of late in Iceland, such as the Multicultural Centre in Ísafjörður in the Westfjords. Kolbeinn hopes the new institution would collaborate with regional governments, the Icelandic Red Cross, and trade unions to support immigrants in the process of adapting to their new home.