European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)


Cooperation between local and equality authorities is crucial for achieving a tolerant and inclusive society, says the Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission

Strasbourg, 19.06.2015 – The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe has published a study reviewing good practices of effective cooperation between local authorities and national Specialised Bodies1 combating racism and intolerance.

The study has been commissioned to follow up on the seminar organised by ECRI last year on The Role of National Specialised Bodies in Supporting Local Authorities in the Fight against Racism and Intolerance [link].

The good practices identified in seven countries show that cooperation between local authorities and Specialised Bodies brings mutual added value: Specialised Bodies can enhance their presence, accessibility and engagement at local level; and local authorities can improve their compliance with anti-discrimination legislation, their practices in promoting equality and the impact of their policies and programmes in this area.

Although firm foundations for such cooperation have been laid, there is significant scope for further development. This is sometimes made difficult because of the unavailability of the necessary resources; moreover, some local authorities need additional skills and knowledge in equality and human rights issues.

To overcome these barriers, local authorities should establish networks in order to facilitate contacts and co-operation with their national specialised bodies, which often have limited outreach capacity; specialised bodies should translate abstract equality and human rights principles into language and practice that can be understood and applied by local authorities in their daily activities.

The study addresses to this effect a number of recommendations for increased commitment from both types of institutions, as well as for further engagement with civil society, intergovernmental organisations and independent authorities’ networks at European, national and local level.

The full text of the study can be found here.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Council of Europe, tel: +33 3 90 21 4328; fax: +33 3 88 41 3987; email: stefano.valenti@coe.int






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1. National Specialised Bodies’ are independent authorities expressly entrusted with the fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination), at national level.