CLIP - Intercultural policies in European cities

Influencing and managing intergroup relationships among an increasingly diverse local population is a major challenge for cities. This was the focus of CLIP’s third research module.

To support the exchange of experience and learning between cities, this module examined intercultural policies and practices in 31 European cities. The research explored the major needs in intergroup relations between municipal authorities and minority groups, the responses of cities and migrant organisations to meet these needs and the measures taken by cities to improve attitudes and relations between majority and minority groups. How cities deal with the problem of radicalisation and what measures they have put in place to counter it were also important elements of the study. While the CLIP project covers relations between all groups living in the cities that make up the network, the third research module placed a particular focus on the experiences of Muslim communities, as Islam is the largest ‘new’ religion in CLIP cities.

The case studies (carried out in 2009) show that most CLIP cities deal with intergroup relations and intercultural policies within the framework of integration policies. Other cities frame their policies in terms of diversity strategies, while the eastern European cities have implemented national minority policies. Empowering and establishing links between migrant organisations is considered to be crucial. Many cities regard intercultural events as a way of countering ethnic and racial stereotypes and promoting social cohesion. All CLIP cities make an effort to raise the intercultural competence of their residents – for example, through intercultural and language training. Most cities have implemented policies aimed at meeting religious needs, including the need for places of worship.

The following table presents some of the specific recommendations from the module on intercultural policies:

Recommendations
Module on intercultural policies
For European policymakers
- Establish a strategic leadership in order to combine the various strands of intercultural relations and intercultural policies more closely
- Highlight intercultural policies in EU integration policy
- Support implementation of anti-discrimination legislation
For EU Member States
- Support inclusive national dialogue on intercultural policy
- Integrate intercultural policies into national integration plan
- Implement European anti-discrimination legislation
For local policy makers
- Consider the role of intercultural policies in integration policy
- Adopt effective policies towards ethnic organisations
- Develop effective de-radicalisation policies

Publications

The overview report Intercultural policies in European cities, jointly published by Eurofound and the Council of Europe, presents successful practices and strategies from the participating cities. Many of the 18 case studies from the cities in the network are currently available for download. A résumé of this third research module is also available, which incorporates key findings from the research as well as a set of guidelines for good practice for policymakers at EU, national and local levels to help them cope more effectively with the challenge of integrating migrants.