Newsletter N° 31 - February 2014

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Can cities learn to perceive cultural diversity not as a threat but as an opportunity? How can they make diversity work to their advantage? Can the city become the focus of collective identity bridging ethnic and religious identities? In the context of the Intercultural Cities programme several pilot cities will review their policies through the "intercultural lens" and develop intercultural strategies in order to meet the challenges of a world in motion.

 

Business partnerships with migrants’ countries of origin: sharing the diversity advantage

 

The debt crisis of the past few years and the unprecedented strain on public finances has led many European governments to be very defensive both on migration and development cooperation. Such an attitude is reinforced by a fundamental shift in economic power relations whereby the wealth gap between Western Europe and some "developing" countries is closing with emerging markets starting to challenge the competitive advantage of the "developed" economies. At the same time European countries are witnessing a rapidly growing number of private businesses arising from within the diaspora communities and that are flourishing despite virtually no public support. Some of these businesses have sometimes turned into big and influential companies that have an increasing share of the national market. In most cases however, migrants are active within small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which, it should be recalled, form the real backbone of modern economies. (more...)

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Rumours in Botkyrka – a study of common rumours which harm an intercultural Botkyrka

 

The spreading of rumours is a central feature of the mechanisms which exclude and stigmatise marginalized groups in the society. The Multicultural Centre has been commissioned by the Municipality of Botkyrka, Sweden, and the Council of Europe to make a study of common rumours which are circulating in the munic-ipality and which impede the development towards an intercultural Botkyrka. This study is a step in the anti-rumour work which Botkyrka wishes to develop, following the work against rumours carried out in recent years in Barcelona, Spain. Research into rumours has shown that these cannot be understood outside the social, cultural and economic context within which they circulate. (more...)

 

Santa Maria da Feira: Diversity and migration as a door to new markets

 

Santa Maria da Feira, a municipality on the outskirts of Oporto, in northern Portugal, is adapting to the reality of cultural diversity in a surprising way. Spurred by the municipality, the local business community is exploring new opportunities presented by migration: The presence of people from different origins in its territory, and the presence of Feirenses in a number of foreign countries. The municipality is planning the launch of an online platform that will link local business owners of all backgrounds with the Portuguese diaspora and with the countries of origin of local immigrants. The launch of this platform is the culmination of a number of initiatives that reach out through business partnerships. (more...)

 

Master in Immigration Management in Barcelona

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona runs a Master course on immigration management. It is attached to the Department of Political and Social Science, but draws from the broad array of available institutional resources, reflecting a strong interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary focus. This MSc provides a foundation upon which to engage in a high academic knowledge and research to human movements, international immigration and diversity. The Master is led by Intercultural Cities expert Ricard Zapata. See also student testimonies. The registration is now open! (apply early to ensure quick admission!)

Mediation as a key-factor for intercultural inclusion in Patras

 

The role of intercultural mediators in a diverse society was in focus at the international conference "Improving the skills and enhance the identity of intercultural mediators in a multicultural Europe" held on 8th & 9th January 2014 in Patras, Greece. The aim of the conference was to identify the profile and needs of education, training and communication of intercultural mediators, the presentation of good practices on Intercultural Mediation, development of tools with emphasis on web-based training for intercultural mediators, and the exchange of views on the role of intercultural mediators within the inclusion process of the migrants. (more...)

Intercultural Centres: enhancing diversity in the public space & community safety

 

A paper prepared for the Intercultural cities programme by Jude Bloomfield, looks at safety strategies that engage communities in addressing the problem transversally. It considers partnerships and initiatives that have contributed to dissolving the atmosphere of fear and mistrust in cities that is focused on immigrants and ethnic minority groups. (more...)

 

Executive Training Seminar: Principles of Equality and Challenges of Discrimination Problems and Effective Remedies

 

The Executive Training Principles of Equality and Challenges of Discrimination Problems and Effective Remedies will be held in the European University Institute, Florence (Italy) from 2 to 4 April 2014. It provides for the conceptual and normative basis of the struggle for equality and against discrimination through looking at concrete cases. (more...)

 

Italy’s Ministry for Integration signs agreement with National Network of Intercultural Cities

 

An agreement was concluded between the Italian Ministry for Integration and the national network of Intercultural Cities, "Cities of Dialogue". The objective of the agreement is to ensure a synergic cooperation in terms of social integration of migrants. (more...)

 

ICC: Facebook and Twitter

 

The ICC programme is proud to note that its Facebook "friends" have increased to 689 and its Twitter followers have increased to 773. They are kept informed regularly on ICC progress. Please remember to check out the Facebook page and Twitter.

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