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Identities and diversity within intercultural societies

Report | Doc. 13522 | 05 June 2014

Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Rapporteur :
Mr Carlos COSTA NEVES, Portugal, EPP/CD
Reference to committee: Doc. 13016, Reference 3909 of 5 October 2012. 2014 - Third part-session


Individual and collective identities are rapidly evolving in today’s Europe, partly as a result of cross-border migration which has increased ethnic diversity in most countries. As globalisation gathers pace, individuals are also travelling more widely and choosing to live and work abroad, while the Internet is also helping to break down cultural barriers. Growing numbers of individuals, but especially the young, enjoy “composite identities” that are no longer restricted to a “collective identity” related to a particular ethnic or religious group.

However, if not managed positively, cultural differences can lead to radicalisation, paralysing forms of conflict and even violence. The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media is alarmed by the rise of anti-democratic and xenophobic political parties in Europe and highlights the positive role of different cultures in the building of national identities and of a European identity. These ought to reflect contemporary realities of our increasingly intercultural societies and positively feature diversity, pluralism and respect for human rights and dignity.

Therefore, the committee calls for a radical change in political discourse and action so that new ways can be found to celebrate cultural diversity as a positive factor for innovation and development. States should make this a strategic long-term objective by developing a comprehensive “Intercultural Strategy” which focuses on awareness raising and public engagement, cohesion among stakeholders, countering racism, planning for diversity and building an intercultural economy.

A Draft resolutionNote

1. The Parliamentary Assembly firmly believes that cultural diversity is an essential condition for human society, brought about not only by cross-border migration, but also by the cultural effects of globalisation, supported by a wide use of new technologies and media that provide people with easy access to information and platforms for communication.
2. The Assembly notes that relations with people having a different cultural background have become a common experience for a majority of people at school, in the workplace, in neighbourhoods and in a variety of public spaces, particularly in urban areas. A growing number of individuals, especially young people, have multiple cultural affiliations to enjoy, but also to manage, on a daily basis. Their “composite identity” can no longer be restricted to a “collective identity” related to a particular ethnic or religious group.
3. However, lack of understanding and fear of the “other” hamper intercultural exchange and interaction. If not managed positively, cultural differences lead to radicalisation, paralysing forms of conflict and even violence. The Assembly is alarmed by the rise of anti-democratic and xenophobic political parties in Europe and calls for a radical change in political discourse and action: there is a need to recognise the role of different cultures in the building of national identities and of a European identity characterised by diversity, pluralism and respect for human rights and human dignity.
4. The Assembly considers that this deep societal change urgently requires a rethinking of the processes, mechanisms and relationships that are needed to counter racism and intolerance and strengthen pluralism and democracy in European societies. In this respect, the Assembly acknowledges the very different circumstances in which national societies emerged and developed in western, eastern, northern and southern Europe and emphasises that account should be taken of those historic differences when discussing what cultural diversity means in different parts of Europe and what implications it entails for society.
5. The Assembly also underlines the importance of enhanced cultural and educational policies intended to value, and make use of, the inherent potential of young generations with composite identities. This calls for an in-depth review of national policies (not only restricted to culture, youth and education policies, but taking a broader approach to cover in particular employment, social cohesion, housing and security policies), often characterised by a “defensive” approach, and for the development of innovative tools. These policies should, on the one hand, go beyond the simple recognition of diversity and the promotion of tolerance, towards a recognition of the originality of each identity and the promotion of positive exchanges and interactions; on the other hand, they should take account of the European and even global nature of the phenomenon, and thus of the need to work together as a precondition for achieving effective and sustainable results.
6. Based also on its past work, related inter alia to participatory governance, equality of rights, non-discrimination, cultural rights, education, youth and media, the Assembly recommends that the parliaments and governments of the member States of the Council of Europe:
6.1 concerning strategy and policy making:
6.1.1 recognise cultural diversity as a factor for innovation and development and make it a strategic long-term objective, taking political leadership and building consensus among parties to advance the intercultural agenda at national level;
6.1.2 develop a comprehensive “Intercultural Strategy” focusing, inter alia, on awareness raising and public engagement (campaigns, intercultural ambassadors, etc.), cohesion among stakeholders (dialogue, cross-fertilisation and collaborative project development), countering racism (monitoring and deterrence), planning diversity (housing, urban development) and building an intercultural economy (diversity as an asset for innovation and competitiveness);
6.1.3 mainstream the issues of diversity and intercultural dialogue in all relevant policy areas, and in particular cultural, education, youth and media policies; and consider innovative ways to integrate them from the intercultural perspective;
6.2 concerning policy implementation:
6.2.1 observe the equality of rights and in particular harmonise civil rights laws for all citizens regardless of ethnic background or cultural origins; guarantee the freedom of any person to determine his or her cultural affiliations and identity; ensure equal access to education, culture and cultural expressions;
6.2.2 establish a sustainable climate of dialogue and understanding through more equal power relations, interactive communication processes and conditions for empowerment through the development of individual self-confidence, paired with a sense of collective responsibility;
6.2.3 review the education system to enhance its capacity to promote understanding of diversity and the development of intercultural competencies starting from a very early age; in this respect, support the implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and the use of associated tools and manuals, including the results of the “Intercultural education” project (school curricula, teaching and training resources);
6.2.4 promote multilingualism in formal and non-formal education and develop policies and programmes encouraging the sharing of international experiences and mobility for youth and young adults to strengthen intercultural competence;
6.2.5 promote the role of intercultural mediators and develop targeted training of civil servants and educators aiming at building up their intercultural competences;
6.2.6 introduce requirements for publicly financed institutions to reflect in more concrete terms the diversity in their leadership, governing boards, staff, users and programming (artists and audience); develop “intercultural rules” as a principle of good governance and a criterion for subsidies;
6.2.7 use public spaces (such as museums, libraries and cultural and arts centres), cultural and other events (such as music and film festivals and sports events), and virtual platforms to cultivate interculturality and share a common vision of cohesive and plural society;
6.3 concerning partnerships and co-operation:
6.3.1 mobilise partnerships with a large network of organisations, including youth organisations, non-governmental associations, businesses, trade unions, media, locally elected leaders, cultural actors, educators and intercultural “innovators”, and make use of the experience derived from successful pilot initiatives;
6.3.2 encourage public media to contribute to this process by setting up nationwide media partnerships and programmes for a balanced diversity of reporting, using stories to portray cultural diversity as an asset rather than a threat to society;
6.3.3 recognise the increasingly important role played by local authorities in promoting and implementing intercultural policy and pilot action, and in this context review the existing mechanisms (allocation of powers, legal structure, co-financing, etc.) to facilitate this process;
6.3.4 in co-operation with the Council of Europe and the European Union, seek partnerships to develop transfrontier co-operation to tackle regional specificities, develop shared diversity strategies and pilot projects which stimulate cultural exchange and shape more composite and nuanced identities, particularly in the areas of central, eastern and south-east Europe with numerous minorities as well as cultural and historic interconnections across borders.

B Draft recommendationNote

1. The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2014) on identities and diversity within intercultural societies, reaffirms the need to preserve democratic stability in Europe by cultivating open, vibrant, culturally diverse and cohesive societies.
2. In this respect, the Assembly fully supports the Council of Europe intergovernmental work on developing a “soft power” policy and information tools to assist member States in shaping new intercultural processes, mechanisms and relationships that are needed to address the compelling diversity challenges in Europe and, on a wider scale, in the neighbouring regions. It particularly values the implementation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (2010), the activities of the Intercultural Cities Network and the ongoing “Media in Europe for Diversity Inclusiveness” Programme (Mediane).
3. Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1 encourage integrated activities between different sectors of the Council of Europe to develop innovative approaches to diversity management and, in this framework, hold with different stakeholders in the member States “thematic” biennial platforms to discuss and advance policy orientations and exchange best practices; and in support to this process:
3.2.1 review existing Council of Europe action on diversity with a view to engaging in long-term activities to promote respect for cultural diversity through development of policy guidance and tools, which address both national policies and specific urban intercultural strategies;
3.2.2 seek better co-ordination between the existing monitoring and information data base systems (the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, HEREIN and the European Audiovisual Observatory) with a view to establishing a comprehensive research and monitoring approach; and use the available tools to develop an “early warning system” to help avoid culture-related conflicts and to address topical issues;
3.2.3 seek synergy with the European Union to support regional initiatives promoting the intercultural agenda in northern, western, eastern and southern Europe, to address regional specificities, to strengthen transnational co-operation and to help develop tailored intercultural strategies and pilot projects.

C Explanatory memorandum, by Mr Costa Neves, rapporteur

1 Origin and objective of the report

1. On 5 October 2012, the Parliamentary Assembly referred to our committee for report the motion for a resolution (Doc. 13016) which I had presented with 19 other members of the Assembly on 13 September 2012. The committee appointed me rapporteur on 18 December 2012.
2. On 12 March 2013 in Paris, the committee held an exchange of views with Mr Chris Torch, Senior Associate at Intercult in Stockholm, Ms Anne-Marie Autissier, Institute of European studies at the University of Paris 8, and Mr Philippe Cantraine, Advisor in charge of education, youth and sports for the International Organisation of “la Francophonie” (IOF), Paris. On 26 June 2013 in Strasbourg, the committee held an exchange of views with Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General, Directorate General of Democracy (DGII) of the Council of Europe, and Ms Maria Paschou, Chairperson of the Advisory Council on Youth. Together with the Portuguese Parliament and the Council of Europe’s European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre), the committee organised a hearing on 25 October 2013 in Lisbon, with the participation of Mr Jorge Sampaio, former President of the Portuguese Republic and former United Nations High representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr Jorge Barreto Xavier, Secretary of State for Culture in Portugal, Ms Rosário Farmhouse, High Commissioner for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue (ACIDI), and several other experts.Note
3. Moreover, I wish to particularly thank Professor Andreas Wiesand, Executive Director of the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts), Germany, and Mr Torch for their precious help and expertise in the process of drafting this report. I also wish to thank Ms  Samardžić-Marković and her staff who have assisted me in collecting information about relevant intergovernmental actions of the Council of Europe (see information document AS/Cult/Inf (2013) 08). I encourage the promotion of these actions in the draft recommendation.
4. In line with the motion, the present report builds upon the following observations: The tendency to preserve cultural identities seems to be gaining strength and this has consequences both in terms of political messages and national policies. However, this tendency may lead to reinforcing stereotypes and consequently to isolation or segregation of communities. Our societies are also experiencing the emergence of plural or “composite” identities, particularly among the youngest generations. Youth is more easily exposed to the influences of different cultural matrices, often as a result of more complex cultural and social references within mixed families and within schools.
5. My report is intended to discuss this societal change and the adjustments it requires in the design of cultural policies, education, youth and social cohesion policies, thus contributing to fostering Council of Europe action in the field of “living together”. I wish to underline that my report is not focused on the integration of migrants or rights of minorities, but instead focuses on each one of us as “intercultural persons” living in a globalised world, surrounded by multiple cultural references.

2 Cultural diversity, interaction and identities in Europe

6. Cultivating diversity and identities with multiple cultural affiliations is an exciting and very challenging task: it implies considering individual and societal “world perceptions” that involve concepts, ideas, values, beliefs and emotions which all together determine the way we approach each other. This process therefore touches upon many sensitivities in our contemporary societies and it radically breaks away from the consolidated idea of the nation-State with common “collective identity” based on one language, one culture and one history.
7. In the past, European governments and societies have had to deal with a wide range of issues that were generally grouped under “minority issues”. In different ways and at different speeds they had to respond to the needs and demands of their minorities (local or immigrant, as the case may be) and to negotiate the relation between majority and minority populations.
8. Today, the concept of cultural diversity is gaining ground and is strongly associated with the protection of human rights and cultural rights of ethnic minorities, immigrant communities with a distinct culture or specific groups in need of protection (religious groups, etc.). In many countries, this has involved a positive change of attitude towards the presence and significance of minority and migrant cultures in Europe and represents a radical shift from assimilation policies asserting a “homogeneous” culture of the majority.
9. Currently, most local, national and transnational initiatives have been developed in the spirit of “multiculturalism”, in other words celebrating ethnic, cultural and religious diversity among minority communities and providing them with recognition, visibility and resources. But the division between “us” and “them” persists. Notwithstanding its value for the recognition of minority rights and cultures, multiculturalism regrettably could not become a common social or cultural objective for the greater part of the society. Instead, multiculturalism has led to further cultural isolation of minority communities and growing conflict, due to little interaction and lack of deeper mutual understanding and acceptance between individuals and/or communities.
10. Table 2 in the Appendix summarises a spectrum of four different “models” of managing cultural diversity which have been used in the past and/or are still applied in Europe. The outcomes of these policies may vary from exclusion, assimilation and segregation to integration of minority population and are determined by two factors: whether this minority can keep its culture of origin and whether it has the capacity to absorb the culture of the majority. I wish to underline here that although these models describe different political realities in Europe, they no longer seem to provide an adequate response to contemporary challenges of “composite” identities of second or third generations of young people that do not fit into the predetermined category of a “minority” or a “majority”.
11. Indeed, what may have previously been perceived as simple realities – the idea of the nation-State with one language, one culture and one history shared by all citizens – can no longer hold true today. Cultural diversity is becoming an essential condition for human society, brought about not only by cross-border migration and by the claim of national and other minorities to a distinct cultural identity, but also and more importantly by the cultural dimension of globalisation, by the growing interdependence between all regions in the world, supported by a wide use of new technologies and media that provide us with easy access to information and platforms for communication. For example, music, arts and cultural events, as well as diverse culinary experiences, are clearly intercultural experiences and are increasingly accessible to all. Learning from each other in such a creative manner makes us change and open up to gradually evolve into “intercultural persons”.
12. Moreover, relations with people having a different cultural background have become a common experience for a majority of people, especially in urban centres, be it at school, in the workplace, in neighbourhoods, sports clubs, associations, shopping centres, cafés or nightclubs, museums or libraries. More and more individuals, particularly among young generations, are living in a “multicultural” normality and have multiple cultural affiliations to enjoy, but also to manage, on a daily basis. Some live in mixed families and others move across countries seeking jobs or seeking different opportunities in education.
13. The notion of identity cannot therefore be “fixed” and confined to a “collective identity”, belonging to a distinct ethnic or religious group. Each of us has a national citizenship and an ethnic and cultural background – and some may have several in case of mixed families or complex life trajectories. Additionally, our personal identities also reflect what we are in terms of gender, position in a family, professional and social ties, and our political affiliations. These different aspects of our identities and our social roles are in a continuous dynamic negotiation and none of them alone is sufficient to define a person. This complicated matrix of references can indeed help us to relate positively to one another from various positions, to overcome prejudice and create connections, and out of such interaction we can become more “open” to difference, gain better understanding and appreciation of it, and continuously “grow” and evolve our “identity”.
14. The overall shift from homogeneity to diversity which has happened over the past decades, has gradually become a new social norm in most parts of Europe – particularly in urban centres and among young people. From the political point of view, this process of individual transformation urgently requires positive recognition of a new intercultural era and building adequate tools and mechanisms to help us adapt to a constantly evolving intercultural environment. It requires “positive action” by the State, active participation of many actors and fundamental rethinking of the processes, mechanisms and relationships that are needed to ensure peaceful and democratic development in our increasingly diverse, rapidly changing and dynamic intercultural societies.

3 Facing obstacles and building intercultural processes and competencesNote

3.1 Fear

15. The greatest obstacle to intercultural exchange is fear. Fear is growing out of populist political campaigns and is further exacerbated by the deep economic crisis in Europe. Those who remain fixed and attached to the cultural space of their birth are instilled with fear of the “Other” who arrives. They fear loss of identity, they fear for their jobs and their welfare, they fear that they will not be able to communicate, they fear their space being invaded. They respond by closing their space, rejecting new influences and demonising the immigrant.
16. On the other hand, those who migrate are afraid of not fitting in. They worry that they will not be understood, that they will be isolated or marginalised, even threatened. They fear that they will lose their original identities, their history and their rights. They respond by becoming introverted within their ethnic/cultural group and remaining segregated in their neighbourhoods. They avoid contact with their new neighbours. Without effective intercultural policies, this newly emerging, more diverse society will continue to be perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity. We resist dialogue, we avoid communication, we freeze ourselves in the past and we turn away from a common future.
17. According to a Eurobaormeter survey of discrimination in the European Union in 2012,Note discrimination on ethnic grounds is seen as the most widespread form of discrimination with an average figure of 56% respondents. The analysis of national results reveals however large differences: seven out of ten respondents see widespread discrimination in France (76%), Cyprus and Sweden (both 75%), and Greece, the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary (all 70%). At the other end of the scale, less than a third of citizens living in Lithuania (17%), Poland and Latvia (both 26%) share this view. The results of the survey can be in part explained by considerable historic and demographic differences in Europe and by very different cultural attitudes which have developed as a result of those differences.
18. The recent vote at the Swiss referendum to set limits on immigration from the European UnionNote is a telling example. It reflects the growing concern among the Swiss population that immigrants are eroding the nation's distinctive Alpine culture and contributing to rising rents, crowded transport and more crime. The outcome of the vote obliges the government to turn the “Stop mass immigration” initiative, led by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), into law within three years.
19. This example show that the greatest threat to cultural interaction are indeed policies which are shaped to protect inward isolationism of regions, cultures and nations. These ideas are spread by populists who use fear in order to strengthen their position. We must therefore counter this trend and create an atmosphere free from fear, so that healthy relations between diverse parts of our community can be cultivated, and only in this way can we preserve social and political stability in Europe.

3.2 Identities

20. Each of us is born with specific conditions and capacities. We have ethnic backgrounds, often mixed. We have physical specificities, but also limits. These differences are, at the base, our natural identity traits. They can be “visible and celebrated” or “hidden and homogenised”.
21. Each of us is born into a context: class, clan and conditions. These are socially constructed but often hard to overcome, because of poverty or marginalisation. These imposed identities can restrict our movement and our capacity to self-realisation. They place people in a certain class or category, with pre-defined access to information and education; they keep people locked in unemployment and social behaviour. The results of the 2013 European Testing Campaign against racial discrimination conducted in five countriesNote indicate that in 34% of cases, Roma, Arab or black African people living in Europe have been discriminated against and, although having equal qualifications, they are not given the same opportunity in access to housing as people of ethnic majority.
22. Ethnic minorities, including immigrant populations, are often victims of imposed identity. The dominant culture seeks to assimilate the minority, transforming it into a sub-group rather than accepting its right to self-determination and other forms of cultural rights.
23. Identities are also imposed through imagined or invented narratives. We interpret and fix people with traits, based on false historical images, myths and fantasies: associating for example Roma with crime and Muslim population with terrorism. These imagined identities often lock minorities and new citizens into profiles that are not natural or social but simply the construction of image.
24. Demagogy is one of the great dangers here. Populist political leaders, with the help of the media, use the “Other” to counter define themselves. The invention of an enemy, someone to fear and reflect anger towards, is a common political tool which often strikes cultural and ethnic minorities, as well as those with unconventional lifestyles or interests (homosexuals, youth sub-cultures, etc.).
25. For this reason, the basic principle that must be applied is to guarantee the right to self-determination: “I am who I say I am.” This allows for a greater flexibility in definition, a mobility between different identities, a continuous shifting and re-invention of our identity. An “immigrant” who decides to become a “citizen” of his or her new country is required to adapt, at least to some extent, to the new situation; but he or she shall have the possibility of choosing freely the best of the cultural opportunities available, according to their background and the wealth of new impulses they meet.
26. The alarming rise of anti-democratic and xenophobic political parties in European countries which have long histories of tolerance underlines the need for immediate policy action. In Denmark, Norway, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Belgium, France, Greece and other States, citizens are being blinded by hate and seduced to vote for extremist movements. In parallel, angry responses from marginalised peoples and communities create disturbing platforms for conflict, frustration and social strife as we have witnessed in recent years in the neighbourhoods of Stockholm, Paris, Marseilles, Bradford or London.

3.3 Policy proposals

27. Radical policy reviews, changes and innovation are needed to guarantee the equality of rights and create an atmosphere free from fear, so that healthy relations between diverse parts of society can be cultivated.
28. As a first step, we need to observe the equality of rights and in particular harmonise civil rights laws for all citizens regardless of their ethnic background or cultural origins. We also need to ensure equal access to education, culture and cultural expressions. In this context, creating conditions for positive and creative interaction avoiding segregation would be a key measure, in accordance with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which guarantees the right for each individual to “self-determination” as regards his or her affiliation to “culture”.
29. Interculture is mutual transformation. It both allows and encourages constant change and flexibility. We can become who we wish, we can leave behind certain traits and take on new ones. We are in a state of continuous transformation, where nothing is cemented. We therefore need to create policies that leave a great deal of freedom for individuals and groups to re-invent themselves, rising to challenges and eliminating cultural habits that are no longer useful in a new context and consider new notions of “citizenship” based on residency, participation and shared values, instead of ethnic background or language requirements. Moreover, a sustainable climate of dialogue and understanding will need to be established through more equal power relations, interactive communication processes and conditions for empowerment through the development of individual self-confidence, paired with a sense of collective responsibility.
30. The best place to start this process would be in nurseries and primary schools, given that young children are extremely curious and open, free from prejudice and stereotypes. Building on this “openness”, which is cultivated at a very early age, school curricula, teaching and training resources should be adapted to build intercultural competences throughout primary and secondary education, and later in higher education. The Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education,Note and the results of a specific project on “intercultural education” would provide an excellent support (manuals and tools) to the member States.
31. Promoting multilingualism in formal and non-formal education and developing policies and programmes to encourage intercultural youth activities, mobility and international experiences, would be another key area to strengthen intercultural competence.
32. We would also need to make a more creative use of public space (museums, libraries, cultural and art centres, music and film festivals, sports events, etc.), including virtual platforms, to cultivate interculturality and share a common vision of cohesive and plural society. This would imply also breaking barriers between city centres and immigrant ghettos, helping people to feel confident enough to come out of the “safe havens” of their community, decentralising cultural meeting places into the peripheral neighbourhoods, where cultural diversity is most pronounced and introducing requirements for publicly financed institutions to reflect the diversity of their citizens in more concrete ways – through leadership, governing boards, users and programming (artists and audience). Those institutions would also need to develop “intercultural rules” as a principle of good governance and criterion for subsidies.
33. To achieve this transformation of public space and institutions, we need to promote the role of intercultural mediators, and develop targeted awareness raising of politicians, civil servants and educators aiming at building up their intercultural competences, cultural diplomacy and sensitivity.
34. Given the increasingly important role played by local authorities in promoting and implementing intercultural policy and pilot action, particularly in urban areas, the existing mechanisms (allocation of powers, legal structure, co-financing, etc.) would need to be reviewed between national, regional and local levels to create synergy and facilitate this process. The Council of Europe, in co-operation with the European Commission, has been actively supporting the “Intercultural Cities”Note network with an innovative conceptual framework to assist city mayors in developing comprehensive intercultural strategies. This process needs to be promoted and further encouraged at national level, to widen the initiative.
35. In more concrete terms, this process involves building codes and city planning regulations which incorporate the need for special needs access, attractive public space and intercultural meeting places; festivals, celebrations and campaigns which make ethnic and cultural minorities visible, both at mainstream institutions and in neighbourhood centres; developing local policies to increase dialogue between community groups, the police, the social services and schools (preventative action); providing sufficient local transportation systems to increase mobility between different areas of the city, de-stigmatising peripheral communities; avoiding segregation in neighbourhoods and providing incentives for a greater social and ethnic mix in housing policies, etc.
36. To complement “positive action”, we also need to develop monitoring and deterrence to secure citizens’ rights that guarantee equal treatment regardless of language, background or educational level, in the form of monitoring structures which strengthen the legal capacity for self-determination. I would also insist on the need to firmly denounce programmes of political parties which threaten fundamental democratic principles and ensure: equal access to mass media channels for quick responses to false statements by populist politicians; regulation providing serious consequences for “hate speech”; and monitoring of social media in order to respond quickly to viral attacks based on false information. Finally, at the European level, we need to prompt governments which are not providing sufficient protection for the cultural rights of their citizens to adopt adequate measures to redress this situation and be firm, when required, in condemning their lack of commitment.

4 Overview of “intercultural” pilot actions and policies in member States

37. I believe that in order to develop the “intercultural dimension” in policy making, it is essential that we learn from each other. This chapterNote exemplifies “national policies and pilot actions which favour positive attitudes towards “diversity” and “intercultural interaction”, particularly in the domains of education, arts and heritage, employment, youth, social cohesion and media/Internet. The European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts),Note which undertook the background research, drew on the experience of a broad community of experts, permanent correspondents and partner institutions in over 50 countries as well as on monitoring exercises and studies, including the Council of Europe/ERICarts “Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe”Note (with a special focus on issues of cultural diversity and dialogue), and “Sharing Diversity”,Note a comparison of national approaches to intercultural dialogue in Europe, prepared for the European Commission as a contribution to the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue” 2008 (EYID).

4.1 Results of the survey

38. The survey identifies a certain number of member States with innovative policies and/or pilot action, as listed in Table 1 of the Appendix. More detailed information on individual policies and activities can be found in a comparative table of the Compendium system.Note Additionally, some more concrete national, regional and local examples are highlighted in Table 3; they are organised according to the main policy areas and different types of activity.
39. The results of the survey show that many countries are still focused on ethnic multiculturalism, celebrating ethnic differences; this concerns especially central and eastern European countries, but also a few countries of western and northern Europe. For example in Norway, the culture and traditions of the Sàmi community are seen as “part of the common Norwegian and Nordic culture” and are included in both the national curriculum and in a special Sàmi curriculum taught mainly in areas defined as Sàmi districts. In the Republic of Moldova, Ukrainian is taught in 71 schools, Gagauz in 49 and Bulgarian in 27, in addition to the many Russian language schools. However, the country profile of Russia – where “cultural autonomy” is granted to 827 communities (2010) – gives the impression that this type of “separatism” may not always be to the benefit of students, since “schools based on ethnic principles actually lead to isolation of children and lower training standards”.
40. Some countries have moved on to actively promote better “majority–minority” relations and mutual understanding. For example, an Action Plan in Bulgaria is to address intercultural deficiencies reported on in a national strategy paper, highlighting inter alia that “the history and culture of minorities are insufficiently presented” in school curricula. Similarly, the programme “Cultural Parallels” promotes bilingual children's books in Bulgarian and minority languages. In Hungary, elected representatives of minorities in the villages and town governments, and on the national level, have significant rights and growing resources – often spent on culture. At the local elections in the autumn of 2010, minority self-governments were elected in nearly half of the local entities. In Romania, a draft law proposed by the party of the Hungarian minority calls for cultural autonomy defined as the right of a national community to regulate matters related to cultural, linguistic and religious identity. In Serbia, an MA in “intercultural mediation” was launched in 2002 at the University of Arts in Belgrade. In Greece, the Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki and the Peloponnese took part in regional co-operation projects to produce intercultural textbooks and teaching materials which provide a more pluralistic account of the history and literature of south-eastern Europe. In Spain, the “Educational Programme for the Gypsy Community” includes teaching materials on gypsy culture, training in intercultural mediation with the gypsy community, and initial or in-service training of teachers.
41. Multilingualism is increasingly seen by many countries as an important step in building intercultural competence, breaking down linguistic barriers and cultivating openness, curiosity and cultural interaction. In Austria, for example, the Action Plan for schools “Interculturality and Multilingualism – a Chance!” has been implemented since 2005. In Luxembourg, empirical studies in reading competency show multilingualism as “cultural capital”. In France, 5 800 “European and Oriental languages sections” in middle and high schools propose a strengthened learning programme of a foreign language and culture. In Switzerland, the Federal Law on the Promotion of Culture (2012) emphasises the need to foster cultural diversity and exchange between cultural/linguistic communities in Switzerland and with those abroad. Projects facilitating access to culture or contributing to cultural/linguistic diversity are prioritised.
42. A variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society initiatives advocating and implementing intercultural programmes and exchanges have been on the rise in recent years, influencing also public policies. Youth activities are of particular interest. For example, the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs supports intercultural exchanges, publishes guidelines and conducts evaluations of results of its work. In Ukraine, the “Romani Cherkhenj” agency stages cultural and sports activities for Roma youth in Uzhhorod and the surrounding region, in connection with larger Roma organisations in the city. Practical “Guidelines for Intercultural Youth Work” are developed by the National Youth Council of Ireland with the goal of influencing national policies.
43. The fight against racism in youth work, schools and sports is a main focus of many NGOs and initiatives (see, for example, the “Manifesto” of Austrian children’s and youth organisations against racism and xenophobia (National Youth Council, 2007)) or campaigns such as “Respect Please!” in Liechtenstein, conducted in co-operation with youth workers in local communities. This issue has also been an important point on the agenda of the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA), based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Cyprus Pedagogical Institute has been offering a series of teacher training activities aimed at empowering teachers to combat discrimination; moreover,  student conferences on issues like racism and xenophobia were also organised in that context.
44. In order to counter prejudice and racism, many countries have been investing in cultural institutions and cultural spaces (museums, libraries, arts councils, etc.) with a mission to develop activities that help individuals to adjust to diversity through building their cultural sensitivity based on creative and positive interaction with diverse cultures. Some examples show that cultural activities in this field nevertheless remain focused on the image of migrants and their integration, while others use cultural interaction as a means for mutual transformation, breaking barriers between majority and minority cultures.
45. In Sweden, the “National Museums of World Culture” agency runs four museums in Stockholm and Gothenburg aimed at adapting collections and exhibitions to processes of globalisation and migration. In Italy, “social theatre” is considered the most interesting and experimental form on the cultural scene, with well-established companies such as Teatro dell'Angolo in Turin, Teatro delle Albe in Ravenna and Teatro di Nascosto in Volterra. In Germany, the “Arbeitskreis Migration” of the German Museums Association publishes guidelines focusing on collections, exhibitions, and communication with users.
46. Several countries promote diversity rules in public institutions and particularly cultural organisations, as a principle of good governance and a criterion for subsidies. The Government of Norway, for example, sees museums as “an arena where people can develop positive attitudes to their own and other cultural roots”. The Ministry of Culture therefore evaluates public institutions with regard to their ability to initiate and accomplish measures aimed at cultural diversity. In Belgium (Flanders), Intercultural Dialogue is more prominent on political agendas since the 2008 Decrees on the arts, heritage and cultural participation, and was included as one of evaluation criteria in the assessment procedures for projects and structures.Note Diversity rules (“Code culturele diversiteit”) of main cultural organisations have recently been accepted by the Ministry of Culture of the Netherlands as a principle of good governance and a criterion for subsidies.
47. In the United Kingdom, the “National Cultural Diversity Network” of The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has to deliver support, advice and training through regional Cultural Diversity Co-ordinators and other initiatives, such as the “Cultural Diversity Checklist”, a toolkit for a basic audit and a literature review of evidence of cultural diversity activities in the sector. Similarly, the “Intercultural Museum Programme” of the Dutch Museums Association aims to introduce more variety in presentations and organisation.
48. More consideration is also given to social cohesion and equity in employment, promoting cultural diversity as an asset for a vibrant, plural and cohesive society. In Portugal, a “National Inclusiveness Action Plan” and the 2nd “Plan for Immigrant Integration” (managed by the High Commission for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue (ACIDI) target inclusion and migrant integration issues, for example education, employment, “hospitality”, research and interdepartmental action. A “Pact for Culture”, initiated by the “Citizens of Culture” NGO and signed by the Polish Prime Minister in 2011, obliges the State to ensure equal access to culture, particularly in towns and villages, to prevent cultural exclusion. In Denmark, the Strategy “Culture for All” (2010) aims to strengthen culture outside the Danish capital, with focus on non-users (“ikke-brugere”) and including migrants (“the new Danes”). The city of Copenhagen took a number of actions to improve the representation of migrants in the city administration, including via paid internships specifically targeted at people with minority backgrounds (for example by requiring skills in a particular language).
49. Multilingual people with different cultural backgrounds and sensitivities can indeed show greater resilience, dynamism and innovation in enterprise and are increasingly seen as an asset for the national economy. Inspired by a Government bill of 2007 and with the support of the Ministries in charge of employment and business as well as Danish cities and regions, the “Entrepreneurship in Denmark” initiative aims to improve the formation, survival and growth of companies owned by people of different ethnic origin. A number of large companies in France, Germany and other countries, most of them globally active, maintain specific diversity codes of conduct (see, for example, guidelines of Siemens or Sodexo). In the Netherlands, ATANA promotes and facilitates ethnic diversity on boards of cultural institutions. In the United Kingdom, the Cultural Diversity Network tries to “share good practice around the diversity agenda”; activities include a “Diversity Pledge” signed by over 300 companies. In Sweden, a “Swedish Association of Ethnic Entrepreneurs” has been formed as an independent organisation.
50. Research and empirical monitoring activities are very often a main driver for new policies and action plans aimed at social inclusion, cultural diversity and gender equality. Such has been the case in Ireland, for example, where the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF), a civil society advisory body of the Prime Minister, issued a report on cultural inclusion as part of social cohesion with six key recommendations, including on evaluation, and implementation mechanisms in Germany (following three reports on “Women in the Arts and Media Professions”) or in Estonia, where independent research for the Ministry of Culture proposed action to achieve more inclusive cultural practices (2012).
51. Moreover, it is important to consider gender equality and values attached to the position of women in different cultures as a specific dimension of interculturality. Finnish gender policies converged into a Nordic version of “State feminism” (legal measures, official monitoring and positive action, including parity clauses and quotas in the representation and employment of women). In addition to a National Action Plan (NAP) for Equality of Women and Men on the Labour Market (2010), Austria has introduced “gender budgeting”, anchored in the Austrian Constitution; it was to be implemented in all departments by 2013 (in the government's arts and cultural promotion reports already in effect since 2007). In Iceland, a “Women Of Multicultural Ethnicity Network” (W.O.M.E.N.) aims to unite, to express and address the interests and issues of women of foreign origin living in Iceland, running also a “World Food Café”.
52. Media and Internet are seen as key elements for shaping public opinion and facilitating tolerance, better mutual understanding and positive cultural interaction. For example, in Russia, the parliament proposed a State grant system and professional competitions for media productions with ethnic cultural content and in the languages of the peoples of Russia. In Croatia, a “Fund for the Promotion of Pluralism and Diversity of Electronic Media” was established by the Law on Electronic Media. In Romania, the “Media Institute for Diversity” fights discrimination and fosters cultural (age, gender, sexual orientation criteria), intercultural (ethnic and religious minorities) and transnational mediation (asylum seekers, refugees, tourists). The “Peace Institute” in Slovenia organises series of seminars on media themes (for example multicultural societies, Roma people in the media or media and social minorities).
53. In the Netherlands, “Kosmopolis” – intercultural houses and virtual platforms – are financed by the cities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, together with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Similarly, “FunX”, the municipal public channel for urban youth with a dual cultural background broadcasts in four large cities, which contribute 50% of the costs. New intercultural websites have emerged, for example in Italy (“Patrimonio e Intercultura” of the Fondazione ISMU) and Latvia (“Arterritory.com” on Baltic, Scandinavian, and Russian art and culture in Latvian, Russian and English). Run by two national agencies, the Fund “Images de la diversité” in France provides complementary aid to films, broadcasting and multimedia works that contribute to cultural diversity and equal opportunities, reflecting widespread beliefs that “transatlantic cultural flows are unbalanced” and “standardisation of mass production has negative effects on artistic creation and diversity”.
54. Finally, a few countries are envisaging national, regional and/or local development plans and strategies aimed at building a culturally diverse and cohesive society, based on individual constructive engagement, shared citizenship and a sense of belonging. In Georgia, for example, a “National Vision and Action Plan on Civil Integration and Tolerance” (2008) addresses specific goals in culture and education, including support for preserving the cultural identity of minorities. In Spain, the “Strategic Plan on Citizenship and Integration” (2011-2014) is addressed to the whole population, recognising equal rights and duties for everyone and respect for diversity. In 2006, the “Communauté de travail pour l’intégration des étrangers” (CTIE) in the Swiss city of Neuchâtel started the programme “Neuchâtel à toi” to promote better mutual understanding among citizens and foreigners. It involved a series of canton-wide debates on Neuchâtel identity, theatre performances, film screenings, gastronomic events, radio and television broadcasts, etc. (and served as a model in the Intercultural Cities Programme). The “Intercultural Strategy Plan: A City of Equals” of Galway in Ireland (2009) focuses, inter alia, on promotion (campaigns, intercultural ambassadors, etc.), cohesion (community events, volunteer leadership, etc.); planning diversity (“plan by design”),Note rejecting racism (monitoring and deterrence) and building an intercultural economy (including racism as a barrier to employment).
55. Some countries have created national agencies to facilitate this process. In Austria, the “National Contact Point for Cultural Diversity” serves as a basis for information and development activities (for example reporting on the implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Diversity Convention). The Bulgarian “National Council for Interethnic Interaction” develops national policies in consultation with government agencies and non-governmental bodies. “CREATE”, an Irish national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts, undertakes partnerships to further its agenda (arts and health; cultural diversity; the arts and older people).

4.2 Emerging trends

56. A number of States – among them the Nordic countries and Portugal – provide interesting models. However, most of the relevant “policies” and meaningful strategies in this domain are implemented or further developed at the local level by local authorities, civil society actors, NGOs, etc. Joint ventures or public–private partnerships, where different actors co-operate, are additional examples of successful pilot action.
57. Obviously, diversity policies and “intercultural interaction” strategies are located in a complex environment that is shaped by societal as well as very personal or group-related concerns. However, the main elements to establish a sustainable climate of dialogue and understanding generally include: recognition of unequal power relations, interactive communication processes, and conditions fostering empowerment or the development of individual self-confidence, paired with a sense of collective responsibility. Together they form the basis for developing a “cohesive diversity”.
58. According to the ERICarts study “Sharing Diversity”, the concept of “cohesive diversity”Note could be defined as “an open and respectful exchange or interaction between individuals, groups and organisations with different cultural backgrounds or world views” whose aims are “to develop a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and practices; to increase participation and the freedom or ability to make choices; to foster equality; and to enhance creative processes … In this sense, intercultural dialogue processes or encounters are to go beyond a mere 'tolerance of the other' and can involve creative abilities that convert challenges and insights into innovation processes and into new forms of expression. The 'shared space' in which such processes take place can be located outside of physical spaces, situated in the media or in a virtual environment”.
59. However, there are only few examples of official national policies that seriously try to address such challenges, among them the National Strategy for the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue” of the Portuguese Government (2008): “Embedded in the paradigm of an equal value of all cultures and cultural miscegenation, moving thus far beyond multicultural coexistence statements, this intercultural approach supposes more than simply accepting the 'other', it implies 'hosting' the 'other' within us and accepting being transformed within that encounter.”
60. As pointed out in Tables 2 and 3Note in the Appendix, the political reality tends to be detached from such insights. Instead, the political spectrum ranges from “no policy” over to “assimilation” or “segregation”, and only seldom to truly “intercultural” policies which concern the population as a whole. Models for managing cultural diversity as set out in Table 2 reflect current political realities in the member States, which are based on pre-established majority–minority relations, and do not take into account the emerging complexities among second or third generations and among young people in general, who increasingly cultivate “composite” identities (as a result of mixed marriages, travel, study or work abroad, or of online connection to a global, “intercultural normality”) and who therefore no longer conform to a definition of a “minority” or a “majority”.
61. While Table 3 approaches main issues from a local point of view, there are a number of indicators showing that things do not look much different from a national perspective:
  • about 75% of European States are content with only one official language;
  • nearly 40% of European States do not recognise minority languages;
  • with a few exceptions in Nordic countries or in their main areas of settlement in South-East Europe, languages of migrants or of the Roma are not officially recognised as minority languages;
  • as a rule, Ministries of Culture are not the main national authority in charge of “intercultural dialogue”, which seems to be more a matter for the home and security administrations;
  • in most countries, cultural policies have only started to take the different cultural background of the large migrant communities into account, some even revived “national canons” instead;
  • a 2011 survey of the Council of the European Union’s Expert Group on Accessible Culture and Intercultural Dialogue on policies of equal access and participation and related initiatives or monitoring revealed that, among 12 answers, only Sweden and Ireland could name national cultural institutions with comprehensive diversity policies;
  • following a decision of the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) in 2012, efforts were made towards defining a set of Quality of Life (QoL) indicators for the European Union. However, cultural diversity issues have so far not been included in these – and similar – index systems;
  • the concept of an “Inclusive Heritage” as stipulated in the Council of Europe “Faro Convention”Note remains a particular challenge and common criteria for validating related social values and benefits as well as the democratic participation in heritage policy making still need to be developed;
  • among all Member States of the Council of Europe, only eight (Albania, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) have ratified the 1992 Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level (ETS No. 144) (another legal instrument with a “contemporary” approach to diversity policies).
62. There are important differences between intercultural and diversity-related policies and debates in “western” and “eastern” European countries. As evidenced in the Council of Europe/ERICarts “Compendium”, the western European countries address migration issues prominently (at least since the last decade), while policies in eastern European countries address mainly the cultures or languages of “traditional” minorities (whose share in the population is, of course, much greater due to historical reasons and moving borders). The question arises whether this apparent East-West divide is also a result of existing international standard-setting instruments, including those of the Council of Europe, whose principles come from a time when the “separate” protection of minorities was the main issue, leading at best to formal recognition (or promotion) of difference and to tolerance in the sense of multiculturalism.
63. While politically the concept of multiculturalism is now under question in the West, where only minimal shares of such traditional minorities exist and the influx of migrants is the dominant phenomenon, we must still question whether the new concepts of inter- or trans-culturalism, cosmopolitanism or the development of “composite” identities can as such be easily implemented in the East with its differing conditions.
64. Clearly, preference is given nowadays to individual self-determination as regards affiliation to “culture” in the broader sense. However, one's right to belong, for example, to particular linguistic or religious groups (and also the right to change that affiliation, if so desired) merges the individual and collective aspects of culture-related human rights.Note Despite apparent trends towards “individual” identities with multiple cultural affiliations, “community” affiliations still exist today, ranging from linguistic groups to contemporary virtual communities in the media. How they correlate, or not, with individual rights, including their role in present Council of Europe conventions, and whether eventual ambiguities or deficits could lead to reforms in the system of standard-setting instruments, is worth further serious reflection.Note

5 Conclusion: negotiating diversity and cultivating the common future

65. Our world is changing constantly and we need to exercise our capacity for change also by meeting and learning from those who are different. Empirical studies suggest that many citizens in Europe keep pace with growing diversity. Cultural preferences and practices have widened over the last 40 years. Regional strengths are now as much valued as transnational colours. “Composite identities” are more common than before, especially among the younger generations. Intercultural action and education can therefore build on this new openness, but they need to be “mainstreamed”. The survey in the preceding chapter has demonstrated that progress can be achieved, particularly if all relevant public and civil society actors are working together in an open and democratic system of governance. We need to create policies that leave a great deal of freedom for individuals and groups to reinvent themselves, rising to challenges of diversity and interculturality. But above all, a radical change in ourselves is needed, beside introducing changes in legislation or in public measures.
66. In the European context, we need to acknowledge the very different circumstances in which national societies emerged and developed in northern, western, eastern and southern Europe. For example, in contrast to the northern and western part of Europe, which had relatively homogeneous dominant national cultures over an extended period of time and was later associated with post-colonial migration, the east European societies emerged out of the imperial Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian legacy and changing borders, characterised by a rich cultural diversity with numerous ethic and religious minorities. Southern and Mediterranean parts of Europe had a long history of cultural interaction and are today faced with important political, societal and cultural changes coming from the south Mediterranean shores.
67. I therefore propose to nuance our debate and take account of those historic differences when discussing what cultural diversity means in different parts of Europe and what implications for the society it entails. In such specific contexts, the aim should be to create a cultural dialogue that can take account of the “differing diversities” and experiences of diversity across the whole European continent and to refrain from simple transposition of diversity models.
68. Personally, I feel we need to explore further the notion of composite identities and to engage in a dialogue with young people and the Council of Europe youth sector, as well as with other stakeholders. This interaction would help us listen to their experiences and ideas so that together we can better identify emerging needs for policy adjustments. I trust that this process will help us to innovate and suggest stronger connections between different policy areas such as culture, education, youth, information and media, employment and social cohesion, the voluntary sector and cross border and international co-operation. In this respect, I have proposed in the draft recommendation to the Committee of Ministers to hold a biennial platform involving different sectors of the Council of Europe and stakeholders in the member States to meet at regular intervals to discuss and advance innovative policy orientations, including the Council of Europe tools and policy guidance, and to exchange best practices among member States.
69. I also suggest building on experiences of international co-operation at local level and to consult with the local authorities that take part in the Intercultural Cities Project of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Transfrontier co-operation is another interesting way of building cultural diversity by stimulating cultural exchange and shaping more composite and nuanced identities, particularly in the geographical areas of central, eastern and south-east Europe with numerous minorities as well as cultural and historic interconnections across borders.
70. Finally, I strongly believe in the special role of education policies and institutions in building intercultural capacities, from a very early age. Kindergardens, schools and universities are intercultural spaces – by nature, I would say. There is a need to consider further how education programmes, education tools and teaching methodologies can help to strengthen the intercultural dimension of “democratic citizenship”, and how educational institutions can encourage living in diversity as an asset and support students so that they can freely grow up with their own identity, proud of being what they are while welcoming the others.
71. In this new cultural era, we need to innovate and multiply the “laboratories for cultural exchange” beyond national borders, to nurture cultural diversity and, with time, develop a European cultural space that will encourage creative expression of multiple cultural affiliations and identities. Let me use as an example in this context, the committee’s report on the contribution of Islamic civilisation to European culture,Note stating: “In a wide variety of fields – philosophy, science, art, architecture, town planning, medicine, language, everyday life and, lastly, culture – we cannot explain the history of Europe without taking into account all that is of Islamic origin.” Or similarly in the report on the Jewish contribution to European culture:Note “History made Jews a European people, while the religious and cultural phenomenon of Christianity has brought Europe closer to the Jewish civilization. This aspect must be stressed because, although Christianity – which impregnated European life for many centuries – began as an offshoot of Judaism, its origins and content made it a cultural phenomenon. The Jewish element of Christianity is thus part of Europe's cultural identity.”
72. In conclusion, I wish to underline that this report portrays a vision for our contemporary societies, and could therefore be perceived by some as far removed from our political realities. However, I insist that without this vision and without building a political consensus around it, nationally and transnationally, we will not be able to democratically manage the accelerating demographic change in Europe. We are witnessing the alarming rise of antidemocratic and xenophobic political parties in Europe, which calls for a radical change in our political discourse. If we want to cultivate open, vibrant, culturally diverse and cohesive societies free from violence and conductive to a more dynamic and innovative economic development, we need to recognise the positive role that different cultures can play in shaping our individual and our common European identity.

Appendix – National policies and models for managing cultural diversity

Table 1: Countries with innovative policies/action plans for cultural diversity and dialogueNote


Official national actors (government/parliament)

Regional/local administration

Society actors (NGOs, businesses…)

1. Education policiesNote

Austria, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain

Switzerland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Republic of Moldova, San Marino

Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine

2. Arts and heritage policiesNote

Switzerland, Finland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden

Belgium-Flanders, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, United Kingdom

Czech Republic, Germany, France, Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia, Turkey, United Kingdom

3. EmploymentNote

Denmark, Netherlands

Denmark, United Kingdom/Germany

Germany/France, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom

4. Youth policies

Luxembourg, Sweden, Slovenia

Belgium/Flanders, Liechtenstein, Ukraine

Austria, Cyprus, Ireland

5. Social cohesion policies

Armenia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain

Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Malta, Serbia, Spain

Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Poland

6. Media, Internet/social networks

France, Croatia, Russian Federation

Netherlands, Serbia, Spain

Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia

7. General or interdisciplinary

Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Switzerland, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Serbia, Russian Federation, Ukraine

Germany, Ireland, Romania, Ukraine

8. Trans-national activitiesNote

Council of Europe, Council of Europe/European Union, European Union, UNESCO, various bodies

Source: ERICarts 2013

Table 2: Models for management of cultural diversity


Should immigrants/minorities keep the cultures of their countries of origin?



Should immigrants/minorities absorb the culture of the (host) majority?







Source: High Commissioner for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue (ACIDI), Portugal, 2013

Table 3: Overview of five typologies according to the main policy areas and different types of cultural activity


No policy

Guestworker policy

Assimilationist policy

Multicultural Policy

Intercultural policy

Minority group organisations

State ignores them

Informal co-operation on limited issues

State does not recognise them

State supports them as agents of integration

State supports them as agents of integration

Labour market

Ignore. Turn a blind eye to black market activity

Minimal regulation; limited vocational assistance

General vocational support – non-ethnic criteria

Anti-discrimination policy; Affirmative action on training and hiring

Anti-discrimination policy; intercultural competence and linguistic skills emphasised


Ignore migrant housing. React to crisis with temporary shelters

Short-term housing solutions; minimal regulation of private rental sector

Equal access to social housing – non-ethnic criteria. Ignore ethnic discrimination in housing market

Anti-discriminatory lettings policy. Affirmative access to social housing

Anti-discriminatory lettings policy. Ethnic monitoring. Encouragement for ethnic housing mix


Ad hoc recognition of migrant children

Enrol migrant children in schools

Emphasis on national language, history, culture. State ignores or suppresses supplementary schooling

Special support for diverse schools. Mother-tongue language support. Religious and cultural education

National and mother tongue/culture teaching. Intercultural competence for all. Desegregation


Migrants as a security problem

Police as agents of migrant regulation, monitoring, deportation

High profile policing of migrant areas

Police as social workers. Proactive anti-racism enforcement

Police as agents of inter-ethnic conflict management

Public awareness

Migrants as a potential threat

Migrants as economically useful but of no political, social or cultural significance

Campaigns to encourage tolerance of minorities, but intolerance of those not assimilating

“Celebrate diversity” festivals and city branding campaigns

Campaigns to emphasise intercultural togetherness

Urban development

Ignore emergence of ethnic enclaves – disperse if crisis arises

Ethnic enclaves tolerated but considered temporary

Ethnic enclaves considered an urban problem. Dispersal policy and gentrification. Oppose symbolic use of space

Recognise enclaves and ethnic community leadership. Area- based regeneration. Symbolic recognition (e.g. minarets)

Encouragement of ethnically mixed neighbourhoods and public space. Conflict management as key skill for city officials and NGOs

Governance and citizenship

No rights or recognition

No rights or recognition

Facilitate naturalisation. No ethnic consultative structures

Community leadership, consultative structures and resource allocation ethnically based

Encouragement of cross-cultural leadership. Association and consultation. Acknowledgement of hybridity. Emphasis on functional not symbolic use of space

Source: Phil Wood (ed.): Intercultural Cities, Strasbourg 2009