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CRISCO: CROSSROAD OF REGIONS - FOSTERING INVOLVEMENT OF ALL CITIZENS IN LOCAL LIFE TO IMPROVE SOCIAL COHESION


Timespan:
24 months (01.09.2017- 31.08.2019)

The project at a glance:

The participants of this project are medium sized towns with a high rate of migrant population who tend to form separate socio-demographic groups, not enough involved in local life, sometimes at the expense of social cohesion and integration. That’ why this project is aimed to foster the involvement of all citizens in local life to improve social cohesion and mutual understanding among the population of these cosmopolitan cities.

Reasons behind this weak integration are diverse and we have identified 4 of them on which the project will focus: 

  • Cultural and social barriers
  • Prejudices and precarious individual situations
  • Language barriers
  • Lack of public places for inclusion activities

With a view to foster intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, our target public is not a specific category of population (“community-based approach”) but the local population as a whole in a town (district or suburb) with a diversified demographic profile, including the natives, expats, newly arrived migrants, precarious and vulnerable categories (“land-based approach”).

The CRISCO partners are all facing their specific social inclusion challenges, and are developing different local initiatives aiming at a better integration of their population. During the project, they will each:

  • Experiment and review their own local integration initiatives and
  • Exchange their experiences among the CRISCO network and
  • Propose good practices and recommendations beyond the network, at EU level

Objectives:

This aim will be reached by building a thematic network of European (medium sized) cosmopolitan cities that will each:

  • Set up a well-balanced Local Panel of Stakeholders (based on the following proportions: 1/3 of citizens or citizens’ organizations, 1/3 non-profit and civil society organizations, and 1/3 experts, officials and local authorities), to experiment and review their local integration initiatives, in order to:
  • Share their local experience with the rest of the network, particularly at the 4 thematic transnational meetings held in Bassano, Strasbourg, Vejle and Etterbeek, with a view to:
  • Gain experience and share the main common findings and recommendations with a larger audience at the European level, in order to contribute to the Europe for Citizens Programme

Activities:

Activity 1: Preparatory phase. During this initial phase, the project partners will set up the whole management package. They will also discuss the technical and practical aspects of the project implementation and will arrange the Local Panels of Stakeholders in each participating country.

Activity 2: Local activity - Preparation for the 1st transnational event. Each CRISCO partner will, at local level, develop a debate and experiment/review integration initiatives with a focus on the theme “Cultural and social barriers to integration”.

Activity 3: First transnational event in Bassano del Grappa. Each partner will be represented by a delegation which will actively take part through debate and exchange of experiences. The theme “Cultural and social barriers to integration” will be brought to a transnational scenario in this meeting.

Activity 4: Local activity - Preparation for the 2nd transnational event. The second theme of the project “Prejudices and precarious individual situations”, will be developed and prepared by each project partner individually at a local level, encouraging the community through workshops, debates, in field-visits, etc.

Activity 5: Second transnational event in Strasbourg. This transnational meeting will gather once more representative delegations of each CRISCO partner, in order to put together and exchange the previous local debates concerning the theme “Prejudices and precarious individual situations”.

Activity 6: Local activity - Preparation for the 3rd transnational event. “Language barrier to integration” will be the following theme of the local debate. By local reflexion and actions implementation each project partner will prepare a contribution to the third transnational event.

Activity 7: Third transnational event in Vejle. Each partner’s delegation meets again at a transnational level. The event aims to nourish each partner’s knowledge and reinforce them to continue experimenting and adapting or enriching new local initiatives.

Activity 8: Local activity - Preparation for the 4th transnational event. The local debate this time will be focused on the theme “Lack of (public) places for inclusion activities”. Local community will exchange ideas and experiences before their last contribution at the 4th transnational event.

Activity 9: Fourth transnational event in Etterbeek. In this final event, project partners will exchange opinions and ideas regarding “Lack (public) places for inclusion activities”. They will share plenary sessions, workshops, in field-visits and a draft handbook on "Fostering Involvement of all Citizens in Local Life to Improve Social Cohesion" will be presented and discussed. It is directed to have had an impact in its participants and contribute with new practices and initiatives to be implemented at local level.

Partners:

Lead Partner:
Municipality of Etterbeek, Brussels Region, Belgium.
Other partners:
Core partners:

  • ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy, Strasbourg, France
  • Municipality of Bassano del Grappa, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
  • VIFIN (Videnscenter for Integration), Vejle, Denmark

Contributing partners:

  • Municipality of Deft, The Netherlands
  • Municipality of Jonava, Lithuania
  • Municipality of Novo mesto, Slovenia
  • Municipality of Rezekne, Latvia
  • Municipality of Vlora, Albania
  • Municipality of Tartu, Estonia

 


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