"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.
INTERNATIONAL POLICY REFERENCES
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 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
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
EUROPEAN TOWNS FOSTERING INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE AND COMBATTING DISCRIMINATION OF MIGRANTS AND MINORITIES
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”.