THE CITY OF VENICE JOINED THE NETWORK OF INTERCULTURAL CITIES OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE
On the 20th of June 2012 the City of Venice has officially made is entrance to the Network of Intercultural Cities of Council of Europe with a public ceremony at the Venice City Hall.
Intercultural Cities is a Joint action of the Council of Europe and of the European Commission that began as a pilot programme – a laboratory for developing the concept and practice of intercultural integration.
Nowadays the core aims of this project is to find the best practices, at a local level, to provide cross-cultural cooperation as a priority; to strengthening the importance of the role of different cultural background as key role to the new successful cities and to widespread the participation process to all the communities, existing and living the city.
The Intercultural city aims at basing its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource and not necessarily a problem. To achieve this, the city puts in place a strategy to adapt its governance system and its policies in all relevant fields to the needs of a diverse population. Intercultural city strategies need to facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges but should not ignore or fail to address intercultural conflict. Conflict is to be welcomed as inevitable. Handled well, it can lead to mutual learning and growth for all participants, including city authorities.
Consultation and participation of citizens and communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of the intercultural city strategy is not only important and a value in itself, it is essential for achievement. A genuinely intercultural city can only be achieved through the active participation of all the major institutions, groups and communities in the city.
To the launch event participated Mrs. Irena Head of Cultural Policy, Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue Division, Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Head Officer of CoE office , Mr. Alberto D’Alessandro and Mr. Ruggiero Mennea, ALDA Governing Board Member and Representative of Apulia Region to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities at the Council of Europe. The first part of the meeting was dedicated to a round table involving Italian cities involved in the Intercultural Cities network leaded by Reggio Emilia, ALDA member.
Then the event proceeded with an official ceremony welcoming Venice as new cities in the Intercultural cities network.