Naima Azough, former member of the lower house of the Netherlands Parliament
Speaking in the debate, Naima Azough stressed the need for integration through education and work. “The more educated and economically independent women are, the better able they are to participate fully as citizens of your countries,” she said. She also pointed out that it was important not to “Islamise” the debate, and to encourage mutual dialogue in order to curb a growing hostility towards each other and combat Islamophobia.
Eunice Campbell-Clark (United Kingdom)
On the same day, the Congress held a debate on the integration of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The report presented by the rapporteur Eunice Campbell-Clark raises the question of the “youth divide” which lands young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in situations of social exclusion. The resolution adopted calls upon European local and regional authorities to develop programmes for their inclusion: creating youth services; introducing assessment procedures; involving young people in decision-making processes; and setting up mentoring systems. This also depends on the development of education, training, guidance services, and better access to new information technology. Furthermore, the resolution asks local and regional elected representatives to be guided by the European Charter for the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life and to guarantee its application.