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En 2017 se celebrarán los diez años del proyecto ICC y se invitará a las ciudades a participar activamente en el acto conmemorativo, además de en los encuentros o visitas habituales. Intercultural Cities quiere fortalecer su presencia institucional en el contexto europeo y su visibilidad, por lo que a lo largo de 2017, se promoverán más acciones compartidas (conmemoración del Día Internacional del Migrante; Día Mundial del Refugio, etc.) y se ofrecerá un paquete de herramientas para promover la visibilidad de Intercultural Cities (recogida de experiencias en las ciudades; historias de vida, etc.). La nueva estrategia de comunicación ICC incluirá guías de visibilidad; material multimedia plurilingüe; relación con los media; etc. Las ciudades RECI están invitadas a utilizar, y reivindicar, con más fuerza su pertenencia al ICC.

Diálogo intercultural

El pasado 27 y 28 de octubre, en el marco del segundo encuentro anual de la RECI, Donosti organizó unas jornadas centradas en explorar, desde un enfoque intercultural, formas de combatir la discriminación y los prejuicios contra las minorías religiosas desde la administración pública, con especial atención a la Islamofobia.

El encuentro contó con la participación de 70 personas entre las que se encontraban representantes de la administración local de diversas ciudades europeas, personas expertas y de la sociedad civil que trabajan en este ámbito, así como miembros de minorías religiosas de Europa, Marruecos, Canadá y Japón. Durante el evento se analizaron situaciones y casos que pudiesen suponer un reto en el ámbito local, y se estudiaron diferentes respuestas a las mismas. En los diversos contextos considerados, se llegó a las siguientes conclusiones: 1) formar un marco legal sólido que apoye los derechos de todos; 2) enfrentarse a los delitos de odio y a la discriminación en distintos ámbitos (como el mercado laboral); 3) mejorar el conocimiento mutuo de las diferentes religiones; 4) adaptar la prestación de servicios públicos; 5) promover interacciones positivas que fomenten la confianza y que impliquen el diálogo y/o el trabajo conjunto; 6) combatir los discursos políticos y de los medios de comunicación que exacerban la división; 7) capacitar y apoyar a quienes pueden permitir el diálogo y construir puentes entre individuos y grupos. Se vio igualmente que la formación de redes tiene un potencial particular para ayudar a facilitar esta tarea entre diferentes grupos, desde dentro y entre grupos de religiones diferentes.

El evento aprovechó la sinergia del programa Intercultural Cities del Consejo de Europa y del programa «Baitara Baita», impulsado por San Sebastián 2016 y el Negociado de Diversidad del Ayuntamiento de en colaboración con la Universidad del País Vasco y de Deusto y que busca crear espacios para favorecer el conocimiento de las diferentes confesiones y promover el diálogo intercultural e interreligioso sobre la base de los derechos humanos.

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San Sebastián, capital europea de la cultura, acogió la segunda reunión anual de la RECI. Ésta, celebrada el 26 de octubre, contó con la participación de las 17 ciudades que conforman la red, Imanol Telleria, Daniel de Torres, Gemma Pinyol y Jaime Lanaspa – nuevo Presidente de la RECI.

En un contexto en el que el propio Consejo de Europa (CoE) quiere potenciar el proyecto de Intercultural Cities, la RECI entra en una nueva etapa. En esta nueva etapa, se quiere fortalecer su rol y repercusión para hacer frente a los retos del mundo local en un marco de cooperación administrativa. Para ello, se quiere dotar a la RECI de una mayor capacidad de acción y  gestión, contando con el apoyo del CoE y de la Fundación La Caixa, pero apostando por aumentar la capacidad y recursos de la red. Con este fin, se hará una propuesta de acuerdo entre la asociación y las ciudades que incluirá: la articulación de la RECI con el CoE y el proyecto Intercultural Cities y los derechos y deberes que se derivan de esta relación; el pago de una cuota anual por parte de las ciudades; y el establecimiento de un plan de trabajo anual detallado, que se diseñe con la participación de las ciudades, identifique prioridades de acción y se evalúe.

El seguimiento de la agenda de trabajo incluyó el proyecto Diversity Advantage, las experiencias de las ciudades RECI en relación a los refugiados (se quiere ofrecer un producto RECI que permita compartir ideas, prácticas y acciones) y el índice ICC (se espera contar con una nueva edición para poder hacer una evaluación individual y colectiva). Así mismo, la configuración del nuevo gobierno permite, después de dos años de parálisis entre elecciones locales y estatales, reabrir el diálogo entre el mundo local y la administración central en la gestión de la diversidad, para lo que se debe construir una agenda de trabajo.

Se cierra el encuentro RECI poniendo en valor la oportunidad de pertenecer a una red europea que agrupa ya a 100 ciudades. Finalmente, se acordó preparar un breve cuestionario para recoger las aportaciones de las ciudades para diseñar el plan de trabajo de 2017. Éste se aprobará en la próxima reunión RECI, que tendrá lugar en Parla el próximo 30 de marzo de 2017.

Together in the same direction, the initiative promoted by the Department of Participation and Citizen Services, conducting a survey in order to assess the impact of their work in favor of intercultural coexistence in the island in collaboration with the Observatory on Immigration Tenerife (Obiten).

The insular counselor of Participation and Citizen Services Acting, Coromoto Yanes, notes that “such actions, which are conducted within the framework of the strategy together in the same direction, in addition to the interest of the activity itself, have the courage added to be performed by volunteers and people from different backgrounds, demonstrating its firm commitment to the consolidation of a diverse and cohesive society “.

The questionnaire investigates, among other things, in the perception of respondents about issues such as coexistence of different cultures in Tenerife, the degree of social cohesion that is perceived in society Tenerife, the interest in an intercultural society, the valuation of the benefits of cultural diversity or the skills and knowledge to relate to people of other origins.

With the strategic action plan together in the same direction is to improve intercultural coexistence and increase social cohesion. For it is committed to increase the interest of the Tenerife population multiculturalism. Finally, the plan sets out three main lines of action recommended to be able to achieve these objectives: increase awareness of the benefits of cultural diversity, fostering dialogue skills and increase relations between different cultures.

The day on 29 April, it has been held the first “Day of the City of Parla Approach to the Chinese community” the purpose of the meeting was to present the city of Parla, resources, services and infrastructure and offer to serve the Chinese community resident in the city. A great experience to link intercultural and economic development of the city, considering that there Parla enumerated 3,402 people of Chinese origin (Census of 1.1.2014), ranking 4th in volume of foreign-born population.

The event was organized by the City of Parla in collaboration with the Chinese-Spanish ASADYC Association, the Orient Foundation and the Friends of the Bonsai Club Parla. The opening was attended by the Councillor of the Social Department, Maria Antonia Gonzalez, who noted in his speech “the opportunity to provide resources, services and infrastructure of our city, they are the seed to realize innovative projects of interest to all. “

The meeting between the City of Parla and the Chinese business community has enjoyed the participation of experts from the departments of International Cooperation and International Living, Planning, Business Initiatives Center and Municipal Employment Agency, who informed them of the offer of services and resources available to Chinese companies, located in different areas of the Community of Madrid.

After the meeting, the representative of Chinese businessmen made a walk through the Botanical Garden and coursed a visit to the Parla Bonsai Museum.

“Among all will make the city” is a project of historical documentation of the city of Parla made by citizens who are part of the Network of Promoters of Coexistence of Parla, City of Parla, funded by the Department of Immigration of Ministry of Employment and Social Security and the European Social Fund for Integration.

After being trained in municipal courses its members have done work for the collection and production of content that can be viewed in the digital classroom of History / s City. In http://auladehistorias.ayuntamientoparla.es citizens have access to visual and audiovisual content about the history of Parla and the stories of the people who live there, personal and collective experiences and perspectives of residents.

Classroom City Stories is included in the actions of Parla City Intercultural Program, as part of the Intercultural Cities Network, which is part Parla since 2012, along with a dozen other Spanish municipalities. Classroom aims to help promote intercultural coexistence, plural identity and pride diverse city, and prevent racism, xenophobia and intolerance.

The documentary school archives is open to any resident of Parla could contribute to its enrichment with historical material: photos, videos, sound recordings or written, etc. If you want to collaborate with the project or inform about new training courses contact auladehistorias@ayuntamientoparla.es email.

On 16th and 17th of March, a delegation from the Council of Europe formed by Claudia Luciani (Director of Democratic Governance, Culture and Diversity), Irena Guidikova (responsible for Intercultural Cities program) and Dani Torres (Expert Council and director of the RECI) paid a visit to the city of Bilbao to better understand their intercultural policies and to offer recommendations. These visits are part of the methodology of the Intercultural Cities program, which aims to present and discuss the intercultural approach of the ICC program with municipal officers and representatives of civil society in each of the cities of the network.

The visit began with an intense session in the building of the Alhondiga of Bilbao -a former wine warehouse converted into a cultural center- which involved the Mayor of the city, the councilor responsible for issues related to diversity, and an advisor to the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy of the Basque government. During the meeting, various experiences and projects were presented, some of them related to the field of education, women’s empowerment and partnership by immigrants, plus some studies by the University on the perceptions of the Basques respect diversity.

During the following 36 hours, the delegation of the Council of Europe had the opportunity to see first hand some neighborhoods of the city and to visit various cultural and educational facilities, as well as associative spaces. In this part of the visit, the representatives of the European institution could meet first hand the people and the projects that, nowadays, are playing a key role in the social cohesion, harmony and dynamism of Bilbao.

The delegation left the city -after a visit described as “intense and inspiring”- with a very positive feeling and a richer vision Bilbao’s reality. In the coming weeks, a report explaining challenges and policies of the city, strenghts and weaknesses, along with specific recommendations and conclusions, will be published.

On March 25th, a seminar to discuss how to better communicate multiculturalism as an opportunity to the political class and the citizenry, was held at the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, organized by Intercultural Cities. “Mind the Gap” -the world famous London Underground warning that prevents passengers about the space between the subway car and the platform – was chosen as a key concept from which to develop communication actions and strategies for viral dissemination through social media.

The famous phrase  and its symbolic content, which can be applied to the challenge of managing the diversity by establishing a relationship with the concept of “being careful with what separates people and strengthen what unites them”. The slogan, which would become the common message or ‘umbrella’ under which different communication strategies could be developed, could favor the scope of the main public to which the ICC wants to reach: young people, politicians of all parties, municipal officials and technical and media. The identification of these relevant and strategic public / target was one of the main results of the work day, too.

The dynamics of the seminar, -in which were involved the director of the RECI, Dani Torres; representatives of some of the member cities of the European network and other experts-, was highly participatory, trying to encourage creativity and the debate. During the conclusions of the conference, it was agreed to deepen the possibility of developing this campaign during the next meeting of coordinators ICC to be held in Lisbon soon.

Over 1,000 people participated last March 28th in the first Spring Festival held in Santa Coloma de Gramenet. The event, with an intercultural character, was organized with the aim of creating a space for interaction and shared fun between neighbors from the various cultural communities of the city.

The activities gave special importance to young people, for whom all types of events were organized: from the creation of murals with slogans in favor of respect and coexistence to the planting of flowers and plants for a new garden at the Parc dels Pins done by a group of 175 children. Attendees also were able to enjoy a visit to the oratory Tajdid city, Tai-chi and karate exhibitions, plant culture workshops, art exhibitions, “castellers” -traditional human-constructions from Catalonia-, and even a chocolate popular breakfast.

The music was also one of the main characters of the day. A rap for coexistence played by young people from different neighborhoods in the city; a performance of traditional Moroccan music and even a batukada were part of the soundtrack of the day. The party ended with an intercultural meal under the slogan “The table of all”.

Social institutions, schools and neighbors were involved in the planning and organization of this party celebrated at Sierra de Mena; a part of the city that includes some of the districts of greater social vulnerability and diversity, and also where the intensity of the anti-rumor and intercultural work is more important. Therefore, the framework of this event also served to present the 9th anti-rumor “glop”, this time dedicated to prejudices and rumors in the trade area.

You can see a summary of the party in the video below:

https://youtu.be/647cB-5q8DI