Kraków joins the Intercultural Cities programme
Kraków is going to implement a capacity- and policy-building programme that supports cities across Europe and beyond in putting the intercultural integration approach into practice.
Most countries in Europe face challenges of migration and integration of minorities. Cities play a central role in creating policies that turn integration and multiculturalism into a factor of development.
Since 2008, the Council of Europe has been supporting local authorities in the design and implementation of integration policies by offering cities a comprehensive methodology aimed at creating diversity management strategies through the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC).
The Intercultural Cities Index is a tool used to review the participating cities' city policies, management processes and good practices. The tool is based on a set of indicators that help to identify the level of intercultural integration in a city and potential areas for development. In cooperation with experts from the Council of Europe, the city assesses its commitment to date and creates a diversity management strategy.
The Intercultural Cities Programme is currently implemented by over 140 cities in Europe and beyond, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, Mexico, Morocco and the United States.
WHY HAS KRAKOW JOINED THE INTERCULTURAL CITIES PROGRAMME?
Kraków owes its extremely rich cultural heritage not only to its inhabitants who were born in Kraków, but also to those who settled here coming from Poland and abroad. Alongside outstanding and remarkable individuals, Kraków has always attracted immigrants, who have brought a variety of cultural influences into the fabric of the city while contributing to its socio-economic development.
The Kraków City Council - aware of the multicultural heritage and potential of its international residents, representatives of national and ethnic minorities - adopted the "Open Kraków" Programme in 2016.
The programme provides a number of activities at the institutional and social level, aimed at the creation of a society which lives and develops in community using the full human, economic and cultural potential of representatives of national and ethnic minorities and foreigners, while maintaining harmony and mutual respect.
The main objective of the Programme is to implement the city's policy of openness to representatives of national and ethnic minorities and foreigners through building among the inhabitants of Kraków a sense of solidarity, awareness and knowledge about the culture and customs of other nationalities; shaping the tolerant attitude towards foreigners, national and ethnic minorities and activities aimed at identifying and solving problems related to functioning in the community of an intercultural society.
KRAKÓW'S PARTICIPATION IN THE INTERCULTURAL CITIES PROGRAMME
The Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) promotes a model based on the concept of interculturality which differs from other traditional approaches (assimilation and multiculturalism) in that it treats diversity as the starting point and horizon of contemporary cities. While the assimilation model focuses primarily on the principle of equality, which ignores diversity, and multiculturalism emphasises cultural differences, the aim of interculturalism is to realise equality and social cohesion in diverse societies.
Intercultural Cities is also a platform for connecting cities and leaders around the world into a community where initiatives and practices from one city are analysed and shared to inspire other cities.
The Intercultural Cities Network is a unique laboratory for local policy innovation and a coalition of cities that believe and prove that diversity, when managed responsibly, is a major asset for European societies.
Intercultural Cities is a global platform that activates all citizens to build the future of their local communities by using diversity as a resource. No matter what size the city is, its citizens can together shape the vision of an open, pluralistic community.
Detailed information about Kraków as an ICC member city can be found on the website of the Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe.