4th ECCAR General Conference 2010 " Cities Promoting Equality and Solidarity"

Uppsala – Sweden

Konsert & Kongress
Vaksala torg 1
750 02 Uppsala


Racism and discrimination are global phenomena. No country or region can claim to be free of them. Europe is no exception: In recent years, these social ills have again increasingly shown their contemptuous and inhumane effects throughout our continent. People who are particularly vulnerable to racism and discrimination include Sinti and Roma, members of African, Jewish and Muslim communities, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other national, ethnic or religious minorities. And in many European countries extreme right-wing and populist parties, groups and politicians propagating racist and xenophobic ideologies are gaining influence. They proclaim the inequality of human beings, portray immigrants and other minorities as a threat and thus promote the politics of fear.

In 2009, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights published a survey which reveals that racism and racially motivated violence, discrimination and harassment against ethnic minorities and immigrant groups are far more widespread in the European Union than recorded in official statistics. This survey as well as the reports of other organisations document that for millions of people across the continent, racism and discrimination are a daily experience. These are alarming developments. The struggle against racism, discrimination and exclusion has, therefore, become one of the main challenges Europe is facing today.

Yet, we have made progress in recent years. The legal basis for enforcing equal rights for all in the European Union is much better now than it was in the past. However, we still need to make sure that people are aware of their rights, and that these rights are put into practice for all. In this respect, much remains to be done. And here, the local authorities come in. Cities play a particularly important role in combating racism and discrimination effectively. Since they have become a focus of ethnic and cultural mixing, they are therefore a prime area to counteract inequalities and make fundamental rights a reality for all.

The General Conferences of the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR) offer an  opportunity for municipal policy-makers and employees, for experts and representatives of civil society organisations to discuss key challenges in the struggle against racism and discrimination at a local level in Europe and to work out strategies to promote equality in diversity. These conferences are intended to pool knowledge on racism and discrimination and to share experience as well as good practices, to develop a research-based approach to decision-making and practice, and to build partnerships at a local level.

The 2010 General Conference was focussed on the question how local authorities can counteract racism and discrimination on the basis of ECCAR’s Ten-Point-Plan of Action and promote the development of an inclusive urban society based on equality and solidarity. The conference programme includes a Round Table and five working groups. The Round Table provides an opportunity to draw a picture of the current situation regarding populist racism in European cities and to discuss strategies how to counteract this troubling development. Three working groups dealt with main challenges cities are facing today, as for example the question how municipalities can co-operate with other local stakeholders in the struggle against racism and discrimination, and how to combat discrimination in health care treatment for persons without a health insurance, particularly with regard to people without a legal residence status. Two further working groups were intended to strengthen ECCAR’s co-operation with young people and nongovernmental organisations.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

14:00 - 16:00 h   Meeting of the Steering Committee
17:00 - 19:00 h   Closed Session of the Member Cities

Thursday, 18 November 2010

09:30 – 12:30 h   Opening Session of the General Conference
                       Gunnar Hedberg
                       Mayor of Uppsala
                       Erik Ullenhag
                       Minister for Integration, Ministry of Employment (Stockholm)
                       Maria del Pilar Álvarez-Laso
                       Assistant Director General of UNESCO for Social and Human Sciences
                       Irena Guidikova
                       Head of Division on Cultural Policy, Dialogue and Diversity, Council of Europe
                       Dr. Hans Hesselmann
                       President of ECCAR (Nuremberg)
                       Presentation of a Film on Populist Racism in Europe
                       Helena Rojas-Lundgren
                       Vice-President of ECCAR (Botkyrka)
10:30 – 12:30 h  Round Table
                       Challenging the Rise of Populist Racism in European Cities
                       Introductory Statement:
                       John Kellock
                       Head of the External Relations and Networking Department,
                       European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna)

                       Panel Debate and Plenary Discussion with                   
                       Dr. Ágnes Daróczi, Vice-President of the Phralipe Independent Roma
                       Organisation; Scientific Associate of the Hungarian Institute for Culture
                       Liz Fekete, Director of the Institute of Race Relations (London)
                       Prof. Dr. Charles Husband, Professor of Social Analysis, University of Bradford;
                       Fellow, the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Bradford)
                       John Kellock, Head of the External Relations and Networking Department,
                       European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna)
                       Paul Lappalainen, Head of Equality Promotion, Office of the Swedish Equality
                       Ombudsman (Stockholm)
                       Dr. Rifa'at Lenzin, Islamic Scholar, Federal Swiss Commission Against Racism
                       Soledad Piñero Misa
                       Founder of the Consultancy and Training Firm Diferencia (Stockholm)
12:30 – 14:00 h  Lunch
14:00 – 15:15 h   Assessing Racism and Discrimination and Monitoring
                       Municipal Policies: ECCAR’s Human-Rights-Centred Model of Indicators
                       Dr. Klaus Starl, European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights
                       and Democracy (Graz)
                       Marcello Scarone Azzi
                       Chief of Fight against Discrimination and Racism Section a.i., Division of
                       Human Rights, Human Security and Philosophy, UNESCO (Paris)
15:30 – 18:00 h  First Session of Parallel Working Groups
WG 1:              Implementing the Ten-Point-Plan of Action Against Racism:
                      Building Local Partnerships
                      Coordination: Botkyrka, Gent, Karlsruhe
WG 2:              Implementing the Ten-Point-Plan of Action Against Racism:
                      How to Develop a Local Action Plan
                      Coordination: Bologna, Graz
WG 3:              Combating Discrimination in Health Care Treatment for
                      Persons Without a Health Insurance
                      Coordination: Nuremberg, Liège
WG 4:             Constituent Assembly of the Youth Council for ECCAR
                     Coordination: Botkyrka, Cair, Nuremberg, UNESCO (Paris)
WG 5:             Cooperation for Change – Moving Towards a
                     Non-Discriminatory Society
                     Forum for Non-Governmental Organisations
                     Coordination: Uppsala, Botkyrka, Office of the Swedish Equality
                     Ombudsman (Stockholm)

Friday, 19. November 2010

09:00 – 12:00 h  Second Session of Parallel Working Groups
12:00 – 13:30 h  Lunch
13:30 – 15:30 h  Closing Session of the General Conference
13:30 – 14:30 h  Presentation of the Recommendations of the Working Groups
14:30 – 15:00 h  Film Spots Against Racism and Discrimination
15:00 – 15:15 h  Presentation of a Conference Declaration
                      Discussion and decision
15:15 – 15:30 h  Final words
                      Mayor of Uppsala

                      Dr. Hans Hesselmann
                      President of ECCAR (Nuremberg)

                      Jean-Paul Makengo
                      Vice-President of ECCAR (Toulouse)

15:30 h            End of conference

Saturday, 20 November 2010

10:00 – 12:00 h   Steering Committee Meeting

Conference Venue

Uppsala Konsert  & Kongress Vaksala torg 1 • Uppsala • Sweden Tel.: 0046 (0) 18 727 90 00
Fax: 0046 (0) 18 727 90 95
Website: www.ukk.se/In-English/


European Coalition  of Cities Against Racism
City of Uppsala
UNESCO (Paris)

in co-operation with:

the Cities of Botkyrka (Sweden), Bologna (Italy), Cair (Macedonia), Gent (Belgium), Graz (Austria), Karlsruhe (Germany), Nuremberg  (Germany), Liège (Belgium) and the Office of the Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Stockholm).