In January 2015, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation CM (2015)/1 to member States on intercultural integration. Based on the knowledge and experience of the Intercultural Cities programme, the Recommendation endorses the intercultural approach to diversity and inclusion as it remedies the shortcomings of past policies and enables the realisation of the advantages of diversity.
Having regard to the pioneering work of the Council of Europe in the field of intercultural dialogue, in particular the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue: Living Together as Equals in Dignity, the Committee of Ministers notes that access to citizenship, education, public services, the labour market and cultural life can only be equitable if governance and institutions are designed for culturally diverse communities and managed by culturally competent individuals and teams.
The Committee of Ministers acknowledges that cities are laboratories for policy innovation which can make an important contribution to social cohesion by adopting the intercultural approach. The text points out that the intercultural integration approach includes in particular actions such as promoting public discourse which emphasises shared values and strives to build a pluralistic and diverse urban identity; developing policies, institutions and services which are adapted to a diverse citizenry, intercultural competence of local officials and actors; and promoting active participation of all in local governance.
The Recommendation invites cities to make use of Step by Step: Practical Guide for Applying the Urban Model of Intercultural Integration and asks states to take the urban model of intercultural integration into account when revising and further developing national migrant integration policies or policies for intercultural dialogue and diversity management.
New horizons for intercultural dialogue and intercultural integration? A number of events presented in this issue of C-News question this problématique, ranging from the McGill University conference on multiculturalism and multilingualism, the SIETAR Congress inviting contributions from all disciplines and fields that deal with intercultural issues, the IACCM conference on education for cross-cultural competence and the Laval University conference on cultural diversity, to the book project on innovative perspectives and new approaches to Migration, Identity, and Space.