Participation is a core principle of human rights and a condition for effective democratic citizenship for all people. Active citizenship is also one of the goals of Intercultural policies that aim at enhancing participation of the whole community as a mean to build greater inclusion.
Local authorities are very well placed to test, create and enable opportunities for people of different backgrounds and lived experiences to come together to make, shape and influence the decisions that affect their lives. For this reason, ICC members have expressed the need to gather knowledge on practice, policies and initiatives that could help develop more comprehensive strategies and action plans on the topic of civil participation within diverse cities, including by providing guidance on how to mobilise and engage a diverse community.
This will be the focus of the 2018 ICC Thematic Seminar that will gather a hundred participants from member cities in Tenerife (Spain), on 26-27 April. Through collaborative sessions, participants will identify practices and means to shape cities where people have the skills, knowledge, confidence and opportunities to participate; but also where public authorities are welcoming and encouraging diverse participation, opening avenues for people to engage with the issues that affect their everyday lives, regardless of their citizenship status and other factors that may often exclude them from more traditional forms of participation.
A morning devoted to local field visits will further give participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the connection between theory and practice. By the end of the seminar, participants will have produced action points and guidelines for the Intercultural Cities network to develop and take forward in 2018.
This work will further feed and contribute to Council of Europe wider work on participatory democracy at national level, having in mind the Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making recently adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.
The Seminar is open to Intercultural Cities Mayors, elected representatives & officials; intercultural experts; representatives of NGOs and civil society. The working languages will be English, Spanish and French.