Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Shaping perceptions and attitudes to realise the diversity advantage (SPARDA)



Joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission

Shaping perceptions and attitudes to realise the diversity advantage (SPARDA), a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Union, builds upon previous work of the Council of Europe in the field of integration and intercultural dialogue, in particular the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, the Intercultural cities EU/CoE joint action and the Speak out against discrimination Campaign.


Successful integration of migrants depends strongly on the perceptions of the host community of migrants and ethno-cultural diversity. Such perceptions are a product of a complex web of factors and circumstances but to a certain extent they can be influenced by the way opinion leaders, in particular political leaders and media, address such issues. The project addresses the issues of perception, building on the idea put forward by the Intercultural Cities network, that diversity, if well managed, is an advantage for towns and cities. The objective is to measure to what extent populations can be convinced of this through local communication strategies.


Interactive map of participating cities

7 European towns and cities participate in this pilot project. IPSOS Reseach Institute was selected as the partner for perception surveys.


Click on the map to have more information.





City Communication Campaigns

Coimbra (Portugal)

Had-Dingli (Malta)

Limassol (Cyprus)

Lyon (France)

Patras (Greece)

Reggio Emilia (Italy)

Valencia PACTEM Nord (Spain)



Final Evaluation Report 2012


Media professionals about Diversity


Other activities

Perception surveys

Media and Diversity Training

Media Cross-production Sessions



IPSOS Report: SPARDA, Findings from Wave two and Recommendations (June 2012)

IPSOS Report: SPARDA, Findings from Wave One (July 2011)



Lilia Kolombet
+33 390 21 53 85

Brussels Office

+32 2 286 5005

In the first step of the project, initial perceptions of migrants and diversity are assessed in the towns/cities involved, using a survey conducted by IPSOS.


In the second step, local authorities, together with other stakeholders such as migrant associations, local civil society and media professionals, planned and implemented communication strategy to address the issues revealed by the surveys, and to promote diversity as an advantage to their population taking into account the local context.


The last step assesses the impact of communication activities used by the towns A second survey will be conducted by IPSOS. It will not only measure perceptions towards migrants and diversity, but also exposure and opinions towards the local campaign. Most importantly, it will help us understand what sort of strategies and activities work best in different local contexts.


Expected results

Identification relevant and efficient communication and dialogue strategies on diversity having the greatest impact in terms of shifting the public perception towards a more balanced understanding of these issues in relation with key factors of success.


Integration of the SPARDA results:

  • into partner cities' action plans on integration / intercultural relations including a re-orientation of these actions for prioritising activities with the greatest impact on public perception,

  • into the toolkit of the Intercultural cities network, in particular into the guidelines for reinforcing integration strategies of cities related to local identity and perception of migrants.

Building of a SPARDA cities' and stakeholders' network acting as multiplier of SPARDA impact.


Development of tools to influence policy-making work and inclusion of SPARDA results into EU/CoE member states' actions on integration and diversity.


Presentation of SPARDA recommendations to the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities for transmitting them to European national and local authorities and the Committee of the Regions.