In 2017 the Council of Europe launched the “Inclusive Integration Policy Lab”, an initiative to promote co-operation and co-ordination among local, regional and national authorities in the field of diversity management and inclusive integration.

This initiative builds upon a wide range of standards linked to different aspects of integration, as well as on analysis of practice at the State level and on the 10-year experience in working on local integration policies in the context of the Intercultural cities programme.

 

 What is the Policy Lab on Inclusive Integration

Across Europe, competences on immigration and integration policies at state, regional and local governments vary significantly. This complex institutional landscape reflects the transversal and interdisciplinary nature of integration and, at the same time, it makes it particularly challenging to conceive and implement coherent and coordinated policies between the different policy areas and governance levels.

The Inclusive Integration Policy Lab addresses the lack of multi-level governance in areas of competence shared by the different governance levels, by setting-up a platform for a robust and permanent dialogue between local, regional and national policy-makers on migrant and refugee integration.

 

 Why a Policy Lab

A strong case can be made in favour of orienting national, regional and local policies towards a more inclusive approach. This would definitely favour States’ compliance with the obligations undertaken under various international legal instruments (eg. European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter), but also ensure more peaceful, prosperous, dynamic and safe societies.

However, inclusive integration requires a framework for equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all, as well as policies to foster intercultural interaction, understanding and participation on the ground. The former is primarily the task of national authorities; the latter relies on cities. Thus, for inclusive integration to happen, both governance levels must cooperate more effectively than at present. The Policy Lab will ensure policy consistency and complementarity and enable transfer of innovation and good practice from local to regional and national levels and vice-versa.

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