No racism - 10 years
European Coalition of Cities against Racism.
Declaration adopted by the member session in Nuremberg, 17th of October 2014
"It is with humble pride that we as representatives of ECCAR – European Coalition of Cities Against Racism – announce the 10 year celebration of the Coalition. It is with pride because we have suc-ceeded in bringing together cities from all over Europe, with different administrative and political traditions, to cooperate in this fundamental strife for a Europe without racism and discrimination. It is with humility because we acknowledge the scope of the task in front of us, and that we only have embarked on a journey with extensive work still to do. There are a number of organisations and individuals that we would like to thank for initiative and support in developing ECCAR and fighting against racism and discrimination. UNESCO is first to be mentioned, as the initiator of ECCAR. The City of Nuremberg, with Dr. Hans Hesselmann, the first President of ECCAR was the central city in the creation of ECCAR. The City of Toulouse, with Jean-Paul Makengo as the second President of ECCAR, expanded and intensified the organisational ambition of ECCAR. The city of Potsdam, finally, has generously taken the task of hosting the administrative secretariat of ECCAR. Ten years ago, on 10th December 2004, ECCAR – European Coalition of Cities Against Racism, adopted the 10 Point Plan of Action, in Nuremberg, Germany which still guides us in our endeavours against racism and discrimination. The member cities have explicitly committed themselves to work in line with the 10 Point Plan of Action: 1. To set up a monitoring, vigilance and solidarity network against racism at city level. 2. To initiate, or develop further the collection of data on racism and discrimination, establish achievable objectives and set common indicators in order to assess the impact of municipal policies. 3. To support victims and contribute to strengthening their capacity to defend themselves against racism and discrimination. 4. To ensure better information for city dwellers on their rights and obligations, on protection and legal options and on the penalties for racist acts or behaviour, by using a participatory approach, notably through consultations with service users and service providers. 5. To facilitate equal opportunities employment practices and support for diversity in the la-bour market through exercising the existing discretionary powers of the city authority. 6. The city commits itself to be an equal opportunities employer and equitable service provider, and to engage in monitoring, training and development to achieve this objective. 7. To take active steps to strengthen policies against housing discrimination within the city. 8. To strengthen measures against discrimination in access to, and enjoyment of, all forms of education; and to promote the provision of education in mutual tolerance and understand-ing, and intercultural dialogue.
9. To ensure fair representation and promotion for the diverse range of cultural expression and heritage of city dwellers in the cultural programmes, collective memory and public space of the city authority and promote interculturality in city life. 10. To support or establish mechanisms for dealing with hate crimes and conflict management. We know from national and European Union parliamentary elections that there are politicians with popular support that pursue racist politics and that defend discrimination. We have seen how racism and discrimination in the form of Afrophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Ziganism and Islamophobia - to name some of the central forms – have increased through extreme right wing or racist parties. However, everyday practices of racism and discrimination do also occur within authorities as well as other organisations in Europe of today. While it is necessary to recognise the situation of racism and discrimination in Europe 2014, we do at the same time resolve our continued commitment to be a central actor in struggling against all forms of racism and discrimination. We do so proudly and humbly. Proudly in the knowledge of dedicated cities working together, interchanging information, searching for best practices and constructively criticising each other. We do so humbly, acknowledging that racism and discrimination remains still part of our reality in our cities, despite our commitment. The European Coalition of Cities Against Racism is composed of cities, organisations and researchers that have decided to eradicate racism and discrimination. In times of growing globalisation and ur-banisation, the municipalities are a key factor in ensuring that all their citizens, regardless of their nationality, ethnic, cultural, religious or social origin, can live in dignity, security and justice. We see our city inhabitants, and the civil societies of our cities as central partners in combatting racism and discrimination. Beside the cities and our cofounder UNESCO, we see all organisations and authorities that are committed to fighting racism and discrimination as friends and potential allies in our common task. By organising open conferences, by networking and cooperating, as well as exchange of practices with other actors fighting racism and discrimination, and by joint campaigns organised through EC-CAR, the aim is to put increased emphasis on the work against racism and discrimination throughout Europe. At the public general conferences and at the internal meetings of ECCAR the members exchange and reflect together with guests and partners from European institutions and organisations on the multiple aspects of racism and discrimination, and on the possible answers to it. This cooperation between municipalities and with civil society actors, include best practices against racism in education, the labour market, the housing and the health sector, specific challenges in fighting discrimination against Muslim and Sinti and Roma communities, the role of sport and education for antiracism actions, especially among young people, the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe, the use of history and memory for an antiracist education, how to develop a local action plan. Furthermore, ECCAR provides research based instruments for supporting the cities in the planning and implementation of their policies against racism and discrimination, through its research working group in cooperation with a wide range of partners. ECCAR promotes joint campaigns between the cities for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 21sts of March, such as the video we produced last year on this occasion. Our aim for the coming ten years is to include more committed cities and to cooperate with more committed actors in the task of fighting racism. The strength in our task is in the final instance a re-flection of the willingness and energy of our city inhabitants and civil societies to take on the fights against racism and discrimination. Together we can make it happen. One of the central challenges for ECCAR in the coming years is the treatment of an increasing num-ber of refugees. Despite of the formal responsibility of the national states, reception, acceptance, integration, but also opposition takes place at local level. Thus, we commit to develop inclusive strategies leading to a respectful reception culture for all being in need. Furthermore, we commit to joining our efforts in the prevention of hate speech and hate crime and protect effectively all potential victims and stand at their side. Today, after ten years of activity, we proclaim through this statement that our commitment is firmer than ever, our focus sharper than ever and our energy stronger than ever. In the path that was inaugurated some ten years ago, we today embark on the second decade of a relentless battle against racism and discrimination, together with all other committed actors. Our pledge to our city inhabitants and to Europe in general is both difficult and easy. Difficult because defeating racism is challenging. Easy because the aim and the direction is clear.