"Multiculturalism and Integration in Europe" - The approval by the Governing Board of ALDA
On 16th October, during the last Governing Board of ALDA that took place in Brussels, the document "Multiculturalism and Integration in Europe" was approved.
Cultural diversity is considered as one of Europe’s most valuable assets. Pluralism in general terms is integrated into the concept of European Identity and included in the European Union policy recommendations concerning wide range of social issues. In the year 2000, the “Unity in Diversity” was adopted as an official motto of the EU. Since then, multiculturalism has become one of the most apparent current features of Europe and societies are facing the challenge of finding and ensuring adequate levels of social integration.
ALDA, through its action and several activities, helps the building of an inclusive society. The document "Multiculturalism and Integration in Europe" provides a list of recommendations explaining how ALDA contributes by promoting social inclusion and integration through participation at the local level:
- Identification and geographical location of national and transnational socially excluded communities through activities promoting citizen participation
- Promotion of activities that contribute to removing obstacles to social inclusion at the local level
- Empowering excluded groups to engage in civil society organizations
- Supporting collection of good practices in social integration and widespread awareness and use of integration tools (such as new non-formal education methodologies, language education, cultural exchange courses)
- Ensuring inclusion of excluded groups into employment opportunities, education and political institutions
- Empowering Local Governments to tackle the issues of social exclusion of local minorities
- Supporting stronger presence of European Union Institutions in border countries and creation of a more flexible system for the mobility of refugees and asylum seekers, avoiding the concentration of them in some European Countries, more than in others
ALDA’s mandate in the fields of citizen participation, local democracy and good governance can contribute greatly to tackling the issues related to social integration. The increasing multiculturalism in Europe is the opportunity to use its long term experience and overcome the challenges connected to increasing cultural diversity among people in Europe. Many above mentioned risk groups are interconnected with each other and can be targeted through their engagement in civil society organizations. ALDA is furthermore working towards strengthening the dialog between civil society organisations and local authorities, which can contribute greatly to finding solutions for social integration issues in many societies in Europe. As the problems can be identified by citizens themselves through the process of participation, the communication between different actors can bring implementation of policies that are adjusted to local environments and able to tackle specific problems of the communities.