The debate around active citizenship as a factor of positive integration is becoming crucial for cities engaged in opening up political and participation spaces for newcomers. active citizenship is both a way to ensure equal access to rights for non-nationals, effective justice in everyday life and the basis of a new collective solidarity. To cut across ethnic, religious, linguistic, social and economic divides, such solidarity needs to stem from adhesion to a common set of values, a shared sense of belonging to the city, and the embracement of a pluralist local identity. Quite naturally, interculturalism is therefore feeding the development of the concept of “urban citizenship”, intended as a “right to the city”.
At the request of the intercultural cities coordinators, the ICC programme has set up a working group to develop an intercultural citizenship test. The test will assess citizens’ knowledge and awareness on human rights, their intercultural competences, their perception of diversity as an advantage, as well as their willingness to act in an intercultural way. It will be both and educational and a political tool; unlike the national citizenship test, it will target the entire population and assess their skills and readiness to behave as active citizens in diverse societies. The first meeting of the working group has taken place at the Council of Europe on 27-28 March, and delivered a Matrix and the draft set of questions for the test.