Back The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the report of the Group of Eminent Persons

While welcoming the report of the Group of Eminent Persons on "Living together – Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe", the Assembly today encouraged politicians and elected representatives at all levels to speak out on the challenges raised at present "by the threats to the European project and solidarity".

Europe is multicultural and European peoples have proved their capacity to live together in diversity, the adopted text underlines. Although multiculturalism is facing increasing difficulties at national level, the Assembly "firmly believes that assimilation is not an alternative".

The strengthening of common European values and identity "should be promoted in a way which does not eliminate the different cultures of specific groups, but preserves and incorporates their specificities in the common European framework", the adopted text underlines.

Following the proposals by the rapporteur, Latchezar Toshev (Bulgaria, EPP/CD), the Assembly said it is "ready and willing to contribute to the changes which are needed to ensure greater cohesion in European societies, so that everyone may fully benefit from living together". It therefore wished to share with the Committee of Ministers of the '47' its own reflections on the matter "and propose concrete ways of implementation of the proposals within the remit of its competences and priorities".

Among many other specific recommendations addressed to the Committee of Ministers in the fields of migration, intercultural dialogue, education, the role of the media, youth and women, as well as social cohesion and gender mainstreaming, the Assembly also recommended that the Committee of Ministers consider launching a major "Campaign on living together" along the lines of the two "All different – all equal" campaigns.

Strasbourg 24 June 2011
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