​​​"The core aspects of the diversity advantage approach are its consideration for cultural differences and the importance to engage migrants in the receiving community’s social and economic life. This is achieved through the establishment of partnerships between various stakeholders, such as civil society organizations, local figures, migrant leaders and activists, just to name a few, for the purpose of opening a dialogue.

This enables the building of official and unofficial networks for locals and newcomers to engage in a common discourse based on trust, respect and willingness to cooperate and to live together peacefully."

Kseniya Khovanova-Rubicondo, CoE's Intercultural Cities Programme Adviser

Diversity advantage is both a concept and an approach. It premises that diversity  can be a source of innovation bringing valuable benefits to organisations,  communities and businesses, when managed with competence and in the spirit of  inclusion.

The diversity advantage is also the result of policies that unlock the  potential of diversity while minimising the risks related to human mobility and cultural  diversity.

European towns are increasingly becoming crossroads between different cultures. Despite a decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both short-term labour and educational migration and permanent relocation are still actively defining the socio-cultural landscapes of European towns, making them hubs for a variety of cultural traditions and beliefs.

Taking into consideration that for many Europeans the temptation to remain within familiar environments is still too strong, our Network take the initiative to promote the advantages of cultural diversity in European towns.

The project seeks to make visible to more European citizens the benefits of setting foot outside our bubbles: intercultural exchange and intercultural dialogue within towns in Europe foster closer collaboration between groups and communities, and promotes the values of democracy, human rights and inclusion in European societies. 



​Recognizing diverse cultures involves not only openly embracing diversity in official discourses, but also opening institutions to various participants, and ensuring that they are open and flexible enough to innovate based on the feedback given by individuals from different backgrounds.


The term “diversity” is often used as an umbrella concept that refers to a range of  human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity,  sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical  value systems, national origin, and political beliefs. Increased urbanisation,  combined with globalisation, technology and artificial intelligence, and  transnationalism are some of the factors that shape today’s diversity.

These  changes have resulted in new diversities, new experiences of space and  creolization, but also new patterns of inequalities and segregation.

Emerging  concepts of “super-diversity” or “hyper-diversity” represent new ways to capture  these quantitative and qualitative complexities of urban diversity. They challenge  also traditional ways of looking at power relations between “national-majority” and  “diverse-minority”, identity and diversity management. They emphasise the multiple  aspects of identity, the multi-faceted roots of exclusion and segregation, and the  need to design new policies and governance to address these challenges.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is a key objective of European Union and the Council of Europe  and is frequently being addressed in programmes and measures of national or  regional cultural policies. Such polices address:·the pluralistic ethno-cultural or linguistic identity and origin of cultural creators, producers, distributors and audiences; a diversity of artistic and other cultural content which, in principle, diverse  audiences can have access to through the media or other distribution  channels; the diversity of actors which are responsible for or involved in decision-making and regulating in different fields of the arts, the media and heritage.

Advantages of Diversity

European Union Legislation and Documents

  • Europe 2020 strategy-Council Conclusions
  • Governance, Tools and Policy cycle of Europe 2020
  • Discrimination in the European Union Special Eurobarometer 263 - Published in January 2007
  • Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (2007) — towards a just society, N. 771/2006/EC of 17 May 2006
  • Non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all - A framework strategy COM(2005) 224 final Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
  • Communication from the Commission to the Council on European policies concerning youth, COM(2005) 206 final
  • Equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged European Union- Green Paper, European Commission, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, May 2004, 30 pp.
  • Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents
  • Council directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, European Union. 2000/43/EC, Official Journal of the European Union l L 180 of 05.06.2000
  • Council Decision of 27 November 2000 establishing a Community action programme to combat discrimination (2001 to 2006) (2000/750/EC), 2.12.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities L 303/23
  • European Year For Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (2010) Website
  • The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008) Website
  • European Commission – Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: Tackling Discrimination Website

Council of Europe

  • ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°11 on combating racism and racial discrimination in policing, adopted by ECRI on 29 June 2007-CRI (2007)6

  • ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°10 on combating racism and racial discrimination in and through school education. adopted by ECRI on 15 December 2006 - CRI (2004) 37

  • ECRI general policy recommendation N°9 on the fight against anti-Semitism, adopted by ECRI on 25 June 2004

  • Resolution on the statute of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance Res(2002)8 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 13 June 2002

  • European Social Charter, adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996

  • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Strasbourg, 1.II.1995

  • Recommendation Rec(85)2 on legal protection against sex discrimination adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 5 February 1985

  • Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), Rome, 4.XI.1950

Research Publications of the EU and the Council of Europe

  • Travelling Cultural Diversity Folder Pack – Salto Youth
  • Salto Youth ID Booklet: Ideas for Inclusion and Diversity
  • PEERing In, PEERing Out: Peer Education Approaches in Cultural Diversity Projects; Salto-Youth Cultural Diversity Resource Centre
  • The Politics of Diversity in Europe (2008)
  • All Different-all Equal Cookbook (2008)
  • Companion - A Campaign Guide about Education and learning for change in Diversity, Human Rights and Participation (2007)
  • Resituating Culture : Reflections on Diversity, Racism, Gender and Identity in the Context of Youth, Bryony Hoskins - Research seminar 10-15 June 2003, European Youth Centre Budapest


Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation. Local social knowledge, insight and cultural sensitivity means higher quality, targeted marketing.

Diversity attracts human capital, encourages innovation, and ensures fairness and equal access to a variety of groups. The competitive advantage of European towns and thus the most promising approach to attaining economic success, lies in enhancing diversity within the society, economic base, and built environment. 

“The EU draws strength and unity from its diversity - we must continue to endeavour to create more diverse, inclusive and equal workplaces and societies.

Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

UNESCO approaches the issue from the perspective of cultural diversity and cultural  pluralism, against the background of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural  Diversity which states that, in a democratic framework, “cultural pluralism is  conducive to cultural exchange and to the flourishing of creative capacities that  sustain public life”.