Plenary Session of the Congress
3 to 5 March 2009 - Strasbourg, France

The “Intercultural Cities Programme”, jointly initiated by the Council of Europe and the EU in 2008, was discussed at the Congress plenary session on 4 March.

On this occasion, Mayors of Berlin-Neukölln (Germany), Lublin (Poland), Lyon (France), Melitopol (Ukraine), Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and Reggio Emilia (Italy) presented programmes of their respective cities to promote cultural identities, diversity and exhange between different ethnic, religious and social groups. Also, they exchanged examples of best practice in respect of managing conflicts and threats to the development of integrative and future-oriented local policies.

The debate in the plenary focused on a range of topics: the role of immigrant women in the integration process, the contribution of the media, possible consequences of the financial crises and the human rights context. Neukölln Mayor Heinz Buschkowsky made clear that there were areas of conflict where human rights and integration policies could clash and that common European values, fundamental rights and freedoms must not be put at risk.

A recommendation to endorse the “Intercultural Cities Programme” at the Committee of Ministers’ level was prepared by Jens Nilsson (Sweden, SOC) and adopted by Congress members. (more...)

Heinz Buschkowsky: “Employment and education are Berlin-Neukölln biggest challenges”
In this interview Heinz Buschowsky, Mayor of Berlin-Neukölln, presents the activities of its city to develop interculturalism. He participated in the debate on „Intercultural Cities Programme“ on 4 March 2009, during the Congress Plenary Session.


Graziano Delrio: "Changes taking place worldwide are becoming clearly identifiable in cities"
“The changes that are taking place worldwide are being reflected in cities and becoming clearly identifiable”, says in the following interview Graziano Delrio Mayor of Reggio Emilia (Italy). He takes part in the round table on “Intercultural Cities”, organised on 4 March in Strasbourg. Reggio Emilia is one of the pilot cities of this Council of Europe project.


Dmytro Sychov: “Mutual integration of different cultural communities helps a city to flourish”
Dmytro Sychov, Mayor of Melitopol (Ukraine) took part in the round table on urban interculturalism on 4 March, his municipality being one of the cities participating in the “Intercultural Cities” programme of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. In an interview, he stresses that Melitopol was able to achieve successful economic and social development thanks to the traditions of mutual respect and tolerance between its different cultures.
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