Culture, Heritage and Diversity

 

Italian Intercultural Cities Network - maximizing the minority advantage!

 

On 27 and 28 January 2011 the Italian Network of Intercultural Cities met in Turin, Italy.

 

The Italian Network of Intercultural Cities operates under the auspices and with the support of the Intercultural Cities program, joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Union. This national platform is at the moment made up of 10 cities: Reggio Emilia, Turin, Bari, Lodi, Genova, Fermo, Senigallia, Savigniano sul Rubicone, Pompei and Campi Bisenzio.

 

Both international and national networks of intercultural cities allow for best practice policies to be exchanged across a large number of local and international stakeholders. For instance, schools, local services, citizens, non-governmental organizations and governmental bodies all contribute to elaborating and implementing intercultural strategies to fit the individual city's demographic, historic and political specificity.

 

The exchange which took place in Turin in January amongst the 10 Italian cities focused on integrating minority groups peaceful mediation and conflict resolution; and ensuring residence permits for second generation migrants once they reach the age of 18. Reggio Emilia shared its policies regarding the involvement of migrant childrenís mothers in schools, whilst Porto and Lodi shared their policies to combat racism.

 

The next encounter of the national network of Intercultural Cities will focus on the experience of Chinese migrants in Campi Bisenzio during the 1990s and will be held on 18 and 19 March. During this forum exchanges will take place on a wide array of integration policies including the right to healthcare of minority groups, as well as on increasing political participation, voting rights and citizenship in local governance.

 

by Thomas Pavan-Woolfe