The ‘Open Kraków’ (Otwarty Kraków) working group (Interdisciplinary Team to Collaborate in the Implementation of the Open Krakow Programme) held their second meeting on 23rd October. 

During this meeting an update was provided by representatives of the office of the Marshal of Małopolska (Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Małopolskiego) on a programme they are currently working on to review services for foreigners which are provided by the Voivodeship.

Quite incredibly, it turns out that both the city and the Voivodeship are working on similar programmes, and yet, this meeting was the first actual ‘coming together’ of the two programmes, and even then there was a distinct lack of clarity.

That said, both City and Voivodeship are now at least talking to each other on this subject, aware of each others programmes and hopefully the appropriate co-operation and consultation will take place to avoid any duplication of effort and to co-ordinate and consolidate some of the tasks.  It strikes us as absurd that there had been no previous contact or consultation between two apparently similar projects.

The City carried out an internal audit within it’s own departments and came up with a full list of services provided by the City which is shown in the document and link below.

We have a few issues with some of the responses, which we raised at the last meeting, most notably the response (item 3) by a representative for the Sports Department  stating – ‘Co-operation only with Polish-speaking people’ – which is precisely what Open Krakow was set up to address !

In addition, we did not accept that the sections Mayors office (1), security and crisis management (2), office for young and senior citizens (10), persons with disabilities (17)  were ‘of no interest to foreigners’.  This was challenged by us at the meeting and the representatives of the city agreed to review these responses. Some within our community may also have an issue with the limited languages which some of the procedures are proposed to be translated to.

The working group have been asked to consult with members of the foreign community – you – to identify which of the city procedures in the list below should be prioritised to be translated first.

Clearly to translate all procedures will take some time, therefore the intention is to concentrate on the the most relevant/important procedures to begin with. From our perspective, there are some obvious procedures which should be translated as soon as possible, such as registration of a foreigner (sec 12 SA-12 & 13), driver licensing (sec 24).

We also highlighted  that it is essential to also consider not just translation of the procedures, but also and more importantly the processes, ie, don’t just give us a translation for forms, A, B, C and D, but also tell us which city or regional or state department deals with the procedure and which forms need to be completed, by whom, where and in what order.

Please scroll through the embedded document or via the link below and select which procedures should be a priority, and let us know by either email, FB comments or comment on this post. (see feedback section at end of this post)


The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 13th November, 2017.

For more information on Open Kraków (Otwarty Kraków) see below or read our previous post.


The working group, who’s official title, ‘Interdisciplinary Team to Collaborate in the Implementation of the Open Krakow Programme’,  doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, consists of around 16 representatives from the city, and relevant organisations, foundations and NGO’s, including Krakow Expats Directory.

The representatives were selected and invited by the President of Kraków to share their knowledge and experiences in the International expat community, in particular the needs, frustrations, barriers and expectations of foreigners living in Kraków.   The intention is to work together in a collaborative and positive way to implement the programme and deliver the aims of the Open Krakow for the benefit of Kraków’s foreign community.

The duties of the Team include the development and proposal of solutions, in particular, in terms of:

  • Development of the concept of the operation of an information point for foreigners,
  • Selection of official procedures for translation into foreign languages,
  • Preparation of the concept of a multicultural and anti-discriminatory social campaign in Krakow,
  • Determination of the rules of the functioning of the chapter “multicultural logo”
  • Development of campaigns against hate crimes (monitoring, response, prevention),
  • Development of the principles of cooperation with non-governmental organisations dealing with multicultural issues and activities for foreigners, multiculturalism, national or ethnic minorities,
  • Organisation of competitions for multicultural events,
  • Development of a concept for informing people about the possibility of naming streets and multicultural education,
  • Multicultural education,
  • Development of the concept of competitions for children from minorities and Polish families,
  • Searching for patronage for educational initiatives,
  • Supporting the fight against illegal graffiti in consultation and collaboration with the Team for Scrawls (exchange of experiences, consultations, joint action plan),
  • Preparing recommendations for Krakow’s accession to the Intercultural Cities Network at the Council of Europe and the European Commission

In September 2016, the Council of the City of Kraków  adopted for implementation the programme “Open Kraków” (Otwarty Kraków), prepared by the Department of Social Affairs (UMK).

The program is designed to facilitate the integration of foreigners in Kraków and to demonstrate the benefits foreigners bring to the city.

Kraków Expats Directory, as a member of the working group, will provide information, in English, to the foreigner/expat community,  in the absence of any English language information or online information from the city.  We have repeatedly proposed to the city that they should consider the rather obvious step of sharing information online,  regarding Open Kraków in other languages, at the inaugural meeting on 2nd October, we again raised this point and were assured that it was being looked into. (A similar response to the one we received last October!)

The Open Kraków (Otwary Kraków) programme is hugely significant as it is the first time the council of the city of Kraków have formally recognised the presence and contribution of the foreigners in this city.

At long last, we have been (or will be) given a voice to be heard.  This is a fabulous opportunity to improve relations, communication, access to services and other issues which affect our community.

The city have now translated some of the key documents and information into English and other languages which Kraków Expats Directory will be used as  a platform for sharing.

   OPEN KRAKOW PROGRAMME   (English) ’gb’




   ‘Open Kraków’ Article from (Google translated to English)

(‘Interdisciplinary Team to Collaborate in the Implementation of the Open Krakow Programme’)

    Minutes of the first Working Group meeting – 2nd October

   Proposed Work Schedule/Meeting Plan for Working Group

Unfortunately the working groups discussions on ‘Consultation with Foreigners/research needs/diagnosis’ are not scheduled in the work plan until meeting 4 or 5, which will not be until well into the New Year in 2018 – 15 months into the 2 year programme. 

We feel this is a regrettable oversight, and are pressing to go to consultation sooner, as surely the foreigners themselves have a much greater idea of what their needs are, and consultation should have been at the beginning, not towards the end of the programme!

That said, whilst we continue to push to move to consultation sooner, in the meantime we want to create a channel/process for foreigners and members of our International and expat community in Kraków to contribute their views, issues, experience, knowledge and assist and get involved in any way they can to inform and support the implementation team.

We are currently looking at the simplest and most efficient way to facilitate that and will share information on that very soon. Put simply, we feel we will be better prepared to make our own views and issues heard if we can collate our views in readiness for the upcoming consultation.  We will share details on this soon.

Please share this with friends, organisations, foundations, groups, NGO’s or anyone that may be interested in or affected by the Open Krakow Programme, which should apply to all foreigners and International companies and organisations in Kraków.

Please email to share any comments, feedback or highlight any specific Expat/Foreigners in Kraków issues, relating to the  Open Kraków (Otwarty Kraków) programme.


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