6th ECCAR General Conference 2009 "Mix Cities"

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City
Toulouse – France
Address

11, esplanade Compans Cafarelli
31685 Toulouse 6
France

61 years since the Universal declaration of Human Rights, the practice of everyone for freedom and fundamentals rights is not obvious.Look at the immigrants situation, escorted back to the frontier in unbearableconditions, or made obedient under threat of expulsion. Look at racism, xenophobia, intolerance, evident in our societies  and even claimed by some. Look at discriminations which are source of deep economic and social inequalities.

Fight against racism and discriminations implied a strong political will, without which no long lasting action is possible. The Cities, because of their closeness with the inhabitants, their  territorial knowledge, are an important level in order to lead this  fight. In Toulouse, and all Cities, we must question ourselves on the place  of foreigners in the City, on their life and work conditions, on education towards citizenship and towards equality…We have put together a council of foreign residents, in order to give  the right to speak to those who do not have the right to vote. We are launching a discrimination “Research Institute”, real tool to political decision. We are greeting today Mixcities, because it is together and through an exchange of experiences at European level, that will be able to  fight for cosmopolitan and multicultural Cities, so that everyone have a place.

Welcome to Toulouse! Pierre Cohen,

Deputy-Mayor of Toulouse

After the end of World War II and the breakdown of the National Socialist reign of terror, many people in Europe hoped that racism, hatred and violence would never again have a chance. This hope has not been fulfilled. Experience in recent years has demonstrated clearly that we again have reason for concern: the pestilence of racism has started spreading anew all over Europe. Radical rightwing attitudes, and extreme rightwing ideologies which insist on the inequality of human beings are no longer a marginal phenomenon, but have now become deeply rooted in some parts of European society. Everyday racism and racially motivated violence have become bitter reality in most European countries.

The victims are predominantly asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and members of ethnic or religious minorities. A survey, published recently by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, reveals that discrimination, harassment and racially motivated violence against ethnic minority and immigrant groups are far more widespread in the EU than recorded in official statistics. And since the European elections of 7 June, 2009, right-wing extremist parties have been represented more strongly than ever in the European Parliament. They used xenophobic slogans and discriminatory remarks about Muslims to try to boost their share of the vote. These are troubling developments. The struggle against racism, discrimination and xenophobia must, therefore, be a top priority in our policies.

Cities play a particularly important role in combating these evils because of their close relationship with their residents, their autonomy in decision making, and their capacity to take meaningful action that responds to concrete problems on the ground. Cities are, therefore, the right place to counteract racism and discrimination effectively and to create new ways of living together. For only if we tackle these evils at source can we hope to root them out.The 2009 General Conference of the «European Coalition of Cities Against Racism», hosted by the City of Toulouse, aims at developing best strategies for cities to combat racism and discrimination on the basis of the «Ten-Point-Plan of Action». The conference programme includes a Round Table and five working groups, one of them organised as a youth forum.  The Round Table is intended to discuss new challenges and partnerships in the struggle against racism including both representatives of minority groups and of cities. Two working groups will deal with the question of how the «Ten-Point-Plan of Action» can be implemented in concrete terms.

For this reason, practical examples, particularly in the areas of employment and housing as well as in participation and information of citizens, are intended to provide participants with ideas and suggestions on possible action. Two further working groups will deal with the main challenges cities are facing today, for example the problems arising from the dilemma between local policies on promoting social cohesion and state policies on security, as well as how to combat rightwing extremism at a municipal level. The organisers cordially invite European cities, civil society organisations and all interested persons to participate in and contribute to this conference in Toulouse."

Dr. Hans Hesselmann

Président of ECCAR (Nuremberg)

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 19th

Morning

9h

Reception

9h30-10h30

Opening Session of the General Conference

Pierre Cohen, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Toulouse Dominique Dubois, Director of the French Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination Commission (Paris) Dr. Vladimir Špidla, (invited) EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Bruxelles) Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Social and Human Sciences (Paris) Dr. Hans Hesselmann, Président of the ECCAR (Nuremberg) 10h30-12h30

Round Table

Combating Racism at Municipal Level: New Challenges – New Partnerships

Introductory Statement : John Kellock, , European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna) Modérator : Marc Cheb Sun, Editor of Respect Magazine (Paris) Participants

Representantives of Minority Groups :

Hassan Arabi, Solidarity Association for the Integration of Immigrants (Madrid) Pascale Charon, European Network Against Racism (Brussels) Aminetou Gaye, Speaker of the Council of Foreign Residents (Toulouse) (Toulouse) City Councillors and Researchers:

Jean Paul Makengo, Deputy Mayor, responsible for diversity and equality (Toulouse) Janusz Marszałek, President of the City of Oswiecim (Poland) Anne Harrop,Director of Research at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (York) (invited) 12h30-14h00

Lunch Afternoon

14h00-18h00

Working Groups

Group 1 : « Fight against Discrimination in Employment and Housing" Implementation of the Ten-Point-Plan of Action Against Racism. Coordinated by the city of Toulouse and the UNESCO, and with the participation of the cities ob Barcelona, Nancy, Nuremberg, Paris, Toulouse and Zurich. Group 2 : «Greater Vigilance Against Racism More Participation and Better Informed City Dwellers ». Implementation of the Ten-Point-Planof Action Against Racism, Coordinated by the cities of Nantes, Liege and Gent, and with participation of the cities of Toronto, Blanc-Mesnil, Aberdeen, Nantes and Liege.

Group 3 : “Promoting Social Cohesion in Security Context of State Policies : a Contradiction?”. Coordinated by Professor Charles Husband of Bradford University, the city of Gent and with the participation of Muhammad Khan, founder of the Muslim Youth Foundation, lecturer at Ruskin College Oxford and Najib Chahouh, criminologist, researcher at the Gent University and also President of big anti-racism organisation named Kif-Kif. Group 4 : “The Global Economic Crisis and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism”. Coordinated by the city of Nuremberg, and with the participation of the cities of Auschwitz, Graz, Madrid, Nuremberg and the Research Center of applied politics of Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Group 5 :  « Youth Activities Against Racism ». Coordonated by the cities of Nuremberg, Barcelone and UNESCO. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20th

9h30-12h30

Second Session of the Working Groups 12h30-14h00

Lunch 14h00-17h00

Closing Session of the General Conference 14h00-14h30

« Toulouse, an open and fragmented city». A Survey on Racism and Discrimination in Toulouse: Results and Consequences : Olivier Philippe, Deputy Director of the Institute for Political Studies  (Toulouse) 14h30-16h30

Presentation of the Recommendations of the Working Groups Discussion 16h30

Final Words Pierre Cohen, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Toulouse Dr. Hans Hesselmann, Président of ECCAR

Practical information:

Centre de Congrès Pierre Baudis

11, esplanade Compans Cafarelli - BP 889 - 31685  Toulouse cedex 6 Tél. : +33 (0)5 62 30 40 00 - Fax.: +33 (0)5 62 30 40 01 E-mail : info@centre-congres-toulouse.fr www.centre-congres-toulouse.fr Accès : 

  • An airport shuttle service is available every 20 minutes between the airport and the city center, stop: Compans Caffarelli (Centre de Congrès)

  • bus line : n° 1, 16, 70 & 71
  • Subway line b, stop : Compans Caffarelli

Participants:

  • Pierre Cohen, Member of Parliament and Mayor of Toulouse
  • Dr. Vladimir Špidla, (invited) EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (Bruxelles)

  • Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Social and Human Sciences (Paris)
  • Dr. Hans Hesslmann, Président of the ECCAR (Nuremberg)
  • John Kellock, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna)
  • Marc Cheb Sun, Editor of Respect Magazine (Paris)
  • Hassan Arabi, Solidarity Association for the Integration of Immigrants (Madrid)
  • Pascale Charon, European Network Against Racism (Brussels)

  • Aminetou Gaye, Speaker of the Council of Foreign Residents (Toulouse)
  • Jean-Paul Makengo, Deputy Mayor, responsible for diversity and equality (Toulouse)
  • Janusz Marszatek, President of the City of Oswiecim (Poland)
  • Anne Harrop, Director of Research at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (York) (invited)
  • Olivier Philippe, Deputy Director of the Institute for Political Studies  (Toulouse)
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