Committing to diversity: Neuchâtel’s citizenship charter
With 170 000 inhabitants spanning some 140 nationalities, the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel lies in north-western Switzerland in the Jura mountains. Neuchâtel is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and, like Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg and Jura, is French-speaking. Neuchâtel canton is a member of the
"Intercultural Cities" network. Ever since the pilot phase of the programme in 2008, the city has proved remarkably adept and innovative when it comes to intercultural integration policies. This success is due, inter alia, to the pioneering role played by Neuchâtel canton in Swiss policy for integrating foreign nationals.
Not only, for example, was Neuchâtel the first Swiss canton to appoint a cantonal commissioner for foreign nationals, in 1990, but in 1996 it also passed the first cantonal law on the integration of foreigners. Neuchâtel grants foreign nationals more civil rights than any other canton in Switzerland.
Youth photography for interculturalism: launch in Patras
Intercultural cities focuses on shaping local policies and governance for diversity. This implies not only working with politicians, officials and professionals but also with the community as a whole. Engaging young people in the intercultural endeavour can be a challenge. A group of Intercultural Cities are using photography as a way of encouraging youth expression and participation.
The "Youth photography for interculturalism" project was initiated by the London Borough of Lewisham. It will enable young people to reveal how they imagine the intercultural spirit of their cities. Following launches in Tilburg (NL) and Berlin-Neukolln (DE), the project was kick-started in Patras on 27th March.
The Patras Vice-Mayor for "Volunteerism, Gender Equality, NGOs, Integration of Immigrants & Services for the Citizens" and the Office of Volunteerism, in collaboration with Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development - ADEP SA" are in charge of the project. The Vice-Mayor Mrs Maria Andrikopoulou-Rouvali says
"Patras is really a very alive city – young people are many, they are very active, they wish to contribute and to co-create with their own innovative spirit which should be respected and recognised". (more...)
A handbook on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe
comprehensive and responsive are certainly the best adjectives to describe the
"Handbook on Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Europe". It was recently
published by the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Centre For
Advanced Studies, Florence and prepared under the auspices of the Accept
Pluralism research project "Tolerance, Pluralism and Social Cohesion: Responding
to the Challenges of the 21st Century in Europe". This is a priority for the
European Commission which funded the project, as well as the jointly managed
Council of Europe/ European Commission Intercultural Cities program.
Debate on "Intercultural City: Building an inclusive Identity"
Summary of the Video: As part of its co-operation with the Intercultural Cities programme, the
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
of the Council of Europe held a round table in Strasbourg (France) on 21 March
2012 on the theme of "Intercultural City: Building an inclusive local identity".
Joint the "Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion" campaign
Intercultural cities supports the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) world campaign"Do ONE Thing for Diversity and Inclusion" to be launched on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity 21 May.
Based on the successful model of Earth Day that encourages people to make a difference to preserve the planet, the
"Do One Thing" campaign invites people from around the world to do concrete things to support cultural diversity: visiting the section of a museum dedicated to another culture; reading a book about another religion; inviting a family of immigrants living in the neighbourhood to share a meal, etc.
The aim is to build a world commitment of people committed to supporting and to improving understanding among people and cultures.
A dedicated Facebook
page has been created as the main vehicle of the campaign.
ICC: Facebook and Twitter
ICC programme is proud to note that its Facebook "friends" have increased to 184
and its Twitter followers have increased to 284. They are kept informed
regularly on ICC progress. Please remember to check out the
Facebook page and