For an effective governance at all levels of intercultural integration
Speaking at the 3rd Meeting of the Committee of Experts on the Intercultural Integration of Migrants (ADI-INT) which took place on 4 and 5 May 2023 in Strasbourg, the Chair of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress, Thomas Andersson (Sweden, L, GILD), stressed the central role of cities and regions in addressing intercultural and migration challenges.
President Andersson recalled that the intercultural integration of migrants is a common concern of different Council of Europe bodies and that the Congress has contributed to addressing both intercultural and migration challenges through various activities in recent years. In this respect, the fight against all forms of discrimination is covered by both the "Human Rights Handbook for Local and Regional Authorities" and the 2021-2026 priorities of the Congress. Moreover, various specific actions have been carried out in this perspective: "The Congress has prepared no less than ten reports, Recommendations and Resolutions relevant to the integration of migrants and/or refugees", Thomas Andersson stressed. Furthermore, he recalled that, already through its 2017 report, the Congress established "an explicit link between intercultural integration policies and other policy areas, such as the prevention of hate speech, proposed concrete instruments for integration policies in the fields of education and sport, and stressed the importance of cooperation with local NGOs."
In view of the recent considerable increase in migratory flows in Europe, for example following the war in Ukraine, Thomas Andersson recalled the central role of cities and regions as the first recipients of migrants and refugees: "it is in European municipalities that reception centers are located, where newly arrived people receive initial assistance, housing possibilities and access to essential services". He concluded by hoping that the Congress will be able to ensure that "the voices of local and regional authorities will be better heard in the future in the framework of national and "multi-level" policies for the integration of migrants".
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