The Council of Europe Intercultural Cities programme is based on the concept that diversity is an advantage rather than a burden for cities if it is managed in the right way. It supports cities in reviewing their policies through an intercultural lens and developing strategies to manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage. The Italian network of intercultural cities, Rete Italiana “Città del Dialogo”, set up in 2010, to date includes 25 municipalities which cooperate on intercultural policies and define good practices of local governance.
On 25 May 2017 they met in Rome for a Policy Lab with national authorities and agreed on their new strategy for 2017-2020. This focuses on three priorities: citizenship rights and long-term residence; the need for a long-term national strategy for integration to tackle the issue beyond emergency stage; freedom of religion and the recognition of places of worship.
The municipality of Venice is a member of the Italian network. Gianfranco Bonesso, head of the department of immigration and promotion of citizenship, presented urban good practices promoting migrants’ inclusion at the University IUAV of Venice on 7 June 2017 during the conference “Reframing Urban Cohesion in European Cities”. This was attended by Council of Europe staff of the Intercultural Cities programme.