Tenerife is the largest (2.034.36km2) and most populated (897.582 inhabitants in January 2013) of the Canarias archipelago. Its economy is based on the tourism sector, due to the fact that it received around 5 million visits in 2013 particularly from the European continent. The island has experienced an extraordinary intensification and diversification of its immigration inflows in the last two decades. In this sense, currently a fifth of its population was born aboard (184.716 persons in 2013, 20.6%), predominantly in a European or South American country. This migration process, unique in terms of its intensity and effects on the distinct dimensions of the island reality, has reinforced the multicultural character of Tenerife, underlining its strategic position between three continents.
These circumstances have incited the political-administrative structure of the island’s government and the lobby to initiate distinct initiatives that address an adequate cultural diversity management and foster citizen participation. These take into account that the interaction of both diversity and participation constitutes an authentic opportunity to the process of development from multiple perspectives. The constitution of the Tenerife Observatory of Immigration (OBITen) from 2001 needs to be mentioned here. Further, the Language University, an instrument that promoted multiple projects and undertakings from a scientific, applied and operative viewpoint. These have been combined since 2009 in in order to advance in the process of a participative definition of an insular strategy for diversity management.
One of the key elements in this work dynamic was the development of the project “Together in the same direction” (Spanish: Juntos En la misma dirección),another milestone was the incorporation of Tenerife Island in the RECI (2012), a platform that allowed to consolidate and intensify the undertakings of the lobby of Tenerife, for example in the “Anti-Rumours” strategy (2013-2014). All of this has culminated in the unanimous plenary approval for the “Institutional Compromise for Social Cohesion and Intercultural Coexistence” (2014). Additionally, in the last years, the extension of participative processes was fostered with a communitarian character and intercultural accent. This points positively to the new line of island cooperation linked closely to the concept of an open government.