30th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities – 22 to 24 March 2016

Rising to the challenges of creating intercultural societies at local level

Presentation of the conclusions of the report

Josef Neumann (Germany, SOC) co-rapporteurs

Check against delivery

Dear Chairman, dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to present this report with my co-rapporteur Bert BOUWMEESTER. 

The report proposes a range of tools for the use by local authorities and their national and regional associations when organising intercultural and interreligious activities.

Local elected representatives need to be shown that information and knowledge is available and that many European cities have good practice examples on intercultural and interreligious dialogue which can serve as a good resource to build more inclusive societies.We are asking the Congress secretariat to produce a Toolkit with the aim of providing them with the resources to develop a better dialogue in our societies.

The main feature of the Toolkit will be a website where these resources will be stored and updated.

The Congress will prepare several factsheets giving access to the information online, via a QR code, such as:

·                     A factsheet giving access to the relevant texts of the Council of Europe, Congress and other bodies, on intercultural and interreligious dialogue, the fight against radicalisation and violent extremism, democratic citizenship, building inclusive societies;

·                     A factsheet on the key academic work led in this field;

·                     A factsheet on relevant university curricula and existing trainings in Europe;

·                     A factsheet on existing good practices.

The toolkit will also include the “Guidelines for preventing radicalisation and manifestations of hate at grassroots level”, adopted by the Congress at the last session last year, in a booklet form.

The last document will be a leaflet on the 12 Principles for interfaith dialogue at local level, in a leaflet form.  This document was the result of hard work and cooperation between local authorities, academics, international organisations and religious leaders at the conference organised in 2006 in Montchanin, France.

These 12 principles complement the ideas presented in the Council of Europe White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue "Living together as equals in dignity" adopted in 2008.

The toolkit will be available in print in the six working languages of the Congress and online in other 30 languages of the Council of Europe member states.

To raise awareness about this practical tool developed by the Congress, we will also produce a short video clip. This will present the Congress strategy to combat radicalisation, which Leen VERBEEK just reminded you of, and more specifically the toolkit on interreligious and intercultural dialogue designed by the Congress.

The video will be presented at Congress events, or at events where the Congress is represented, and will be made available to you. It will also be uploaded on the dedicated website, as well as on the Congress and Council of Europe YouTube accounts.

Dear colleagues, in this Resolution, we are highlighting that interreligious and intercultural activities at local level are one of the priorities set out by the Congress Strategy to combat radicalisation.

To this end the Congress:

-       instructs its secretariat to produce a pedagogical toolkit based on the elements set out in the explanatory memorandum to this resolution;

-       agrees to disseminate this toolkit as widely as possible.

We invite the Local and Regional associations and local authorities to:

-       support this initiative, in particular by providing translations in their language both for the toolkit and for the clip presenting the Congress strategy to combat radicalisation and the toolkit, and disseminating these tools.

To the Congress Spokesperson on Human Rights we ask to:

-       include this dimension and the toolkit in his work to raise awareness among local authorities on human rights.

Dear colleagues,

These are the main points of the resolution. This resolution is a prelude to the actual toolkit which will be produced by the Congress secretariat.

In light of these conclusions, we are presenting this draft resolution and we ask you to approve it.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention.