The “Intercultural Cities Programme”, jointly initiated by
the Council of Europe and the EU in 2008, was discussed at
the Congress plenary session on 4 March.
On this occasion, Mayors of Berlin-Neukölln (Germany),
Lublin (Poland), Lyon (France), Melitopol (Ukraine),
Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and Reggio Emilia (Italy) presented
programmes of their respective cities to promote cultural
identities, diversity and exhange between different ethnic,
religious and social groups. Also, they exchanged examples
of best practice in respect of managing conflicts and
threats to the development of integrative and
future-oriented local policies.
The debate in the plenary focused on a range of topics: the
role of immigrant women in the integration process, the
contribution of the media, possible consequences of the
financial crises and the human rights context. Neukölln
Mayor Heinz Buschkowsky made clear that there were areas of
conflict where human rights and integration policies could
clash and that common European values, fundamental rights
and freedoms must not be put at risk.
A recommendation to endorse the “Intercultural Cities
Programme” at the Committee of Ministers’ level was prepared
by Jens Nilsson (Sweden, SOC) and adopted by Congress