The Council of Europe launches an innovative project to combat xenophobia and to promote social cohesion
Have you ever heard expressions like “Immigrants receive more financial aid to open their businesses, and they don’t pay taxes…”; “Immigrants are overcrowding our health services…” or “Immigrants don’t want to integrate or learn our language…”? Such ideas, generally unsupported by facts and data, target specific groups as ‘problematic’ and it generate mistrust and social conflict.
C4i – Communication for Integration project aims to fight against misconceptions and prejudices, rumours and stereotypes by using viral information techniques to provide evidence-based answers to common misconceptions. Active participation from citizens as “anti-rumor agents” is a key feature of C4i.
C4i has been inspired by the ‘anti-rumors’ campaign initiated by the Barcelona City Council in 2010. The city started a long-term strategy to improve living together in a diverse society through a campaign to bust rumours, misconceptions and prejudices that many local people held about minorities and immigrants.
The first meeting of the C4i project partners was held in Barcelona on February, 11-12. The Council of Europe, as a lead partner, will work during 18 months with 11 European cities, which will design their own anti-rumour strategies according to local needs and expectations. The meeting reunited more than 20 participants from Amadora (PT), Barcelona (ES), Bilbao (ES), Botkyrka (SE), Erlangen (DE), Limerick (IE), Loures (PT), Lublin (PL), Nuremberg (DE), Patras (GR)
and Sabadell (ES). Copenhagen (DK) and Getxo (ES) also participated as invited cities in the meeting.
This project is implemented by the Council of Europe in the framework of the Intercultural Cities programme and funded by the European Commission in the framework of the European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals. The project will last 18 months and will generate more than 100 actions in the different cities.
Overview of projects and partners