The members of the Community for Integration and Multicultural Cohesion (CICM) must be reappointed by the State Council (Executive) for the next four years (2018-2021). Following various discussions and a consultation with the CICM, it was decided to reduce the number (from 41 to 25), whilst keeping a high proportion of representatives from migrant communities (about 10).
For the first time, a wide consultation was conducted with regard to the representation of migrant communities with the aim of establishing diversity criteria beyond the question of geographical origin. This took place in different stages. Firstly, discussions on representation in general (criteria and method of designation):
- Workshops during a CICM Plenary;
- Open discussion during a session of the platform of Latin American communities;
- Workshops during a session of the platform of African associations and personalities
Subsequently, proposals were drawn up (terms of reference, a list of diversity criteria, proposal of a selection method - the appointment being the responsibility of the executive) and sent to more than 700 associations and resource persons. The proposals were discussed in the form of three workshops (agree/disagree/other proposals) at three open evenings.
Although the discussions on the terms of reference and the selection criteria proved to be rather consensual (with modifications on which the great majority agreed), the question of the method of designation proved to be more delicate. Many felt that the best solution would have been broad consultation or a general election that cannot be held for lack of time. Some wanted only associations to nominate candidates while others preferred individual applications.
Finally, the option that met with the greatest support was that which allows the submission of applications from associations or individuals.
The proposal was made that a jury be appointed for the selection of applications (individual or via associations). This jury will be composed of people drawn at random from among those who participated in the consultation. The selection of the ten candidates (three for Europe, the Balkans and Turkey; three for Africa; two for Asia and the Middle East; two for the Americas) will be based on the application forms and the defined criteria, in order to ensure a balance in terms of diversity. At the level of the criteria, the most important for all the people consulted was the motivation and the network (whether via a migrant association or another way). This was followed by aspects related to gender, age, occupation or reason for migration.
The result (will a jury be formed? will there be a sufficient number of quality applications from candidates?) will enable a first evaluation. The functioning of the CICM in 2018 will make it possible to assess whether the new dynamic is working.
It should be noted that several current members of the CICM (representatives of migrant communities) have opposed the changes (namely the decrease in the number of members, modification of the selection methods - until now mixed, some having been designated by associations, platforms, others identified by the COSM), at each stage of the consultation. This did not meet with favourable feedback from other participants who spoke to the media to express their dissatisfaction. The echo was quite significant (on the first page of the regional newspaper), with a very negative presentation of the consultation and some false information. Several factors explain these reactions: lack of renewal of members for several years (some have participated since 1991, many for more than 12 years); difficulty in explaining the process and depersonalising it; documents sent for consultation which were too complicated and misinterpreted; power struggles within some communities, etc.