Achieving Social Cohesion in a Multicultural Europe - Concepts, Situation and Developments
(Trends in Social Cohesion No. 18), Council of Europe, 2006, 200 pp., € 37 / US$ 56, ISBN: 92-871-6033-3
The development of social cohesion in a multicultural Europe is a key political objective, both vital and attainable, for our modern societies. It can be achieved by transcending the limits of so-called "integration" policies, particularly when they take the form of unilateral processes in which migrants and their descendants are not acknowledged as partners in decisions concerning them.
Far from considering the integration problems faced by migrants to be the result of alleged "cultural incompatibility", the articles and conversations published in the Council of Europe's latest book entitiled Achieving Social Cohesion in a Multicultural Europe - Concepts, Situation and Developments (Trends in Social Cohesion No. 18), reflect on the combined effects of exclusion stemming from social policy and policy on immigration, employment and nationality.
Furthermore, as "intercultural competencies" developed in certain hospitals and schools have clearly shown, there are other, much more effective strategies for treating differences in a favourable light which make social rights more accessible to all. These alternative approaches can effectively help to foster social cohesion only if migrants themselves are committed to them, in particular as recognised political players in the European public arena.
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