7th ECCAR General Conference 2015 "Welcoming cities - keys for an anti-racist culture”"

Karlsruhe – Germany

Festplatz 9
76137 Karlsruhe

Welcoming cities- keys for an anti-racist culture

8-  9 October 2015 in Karlsruhe

Thursday, 8 October 2015

2.00 pm – 3.30 pm Opening Session of the General Conference

Opening Session of the General Conference

Benedetto Zacchiroli, ECCAR President
Welcome: Dr. Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe
Dr. Susanne Asche, Head of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Karlsruhe: Presentation on the implementation of the Ten-Point Plan of Action
Presentation of the International Coalition of Cities against Racism

Golda El-Khoury, Chief of Section Public Policies& Capacity Building, UNESCO
Dr. William A. Bell, Mayor of Birmingham Alabama/USA
Benedetto Zacchiroli, ECCAR President
3.30 pm – 4.00 pm Coffee break

4.00 pm – 6.00 pm Panel discussion:

Unlocking Europe's potential to build welcoming cities


Giusi Nicolini, Mayoress of Lampedusa (Italy)
Selmin Caliskan, Director of the German section of Amnesty International (Germany)
Karl Kopp, Delegate of Pro Asyl in the "European Council on Refugees and Exiles” (ECRE)
Hafedh Bensasi, Mayor of Zuwara (Libya)
       Moderation: Dr. Ursula Knapp, Correspondent for Frankfurter Rundschau and others

7.00 pm Dinner at “Gartenhalle Karlsruhe” by invitation of Karlsruhe

Friday, 9 October 2015

9.00 am – 11.00 am Panel discussion:

Title: "Conditions for success in the reception of refugees and asylum seekers in European cities"


Elona Müller-Preinesberger, Deputy Mayor in charge of social affairs, youth, health and order, Potsdam (Germany)
Lucienne Redercher, Deputy Mayor in charge of culture, integration and human rights, Nancy (France)
Karin Jeppsson, Trelleborg (Sweden)
MIGSZOL – NGO, Budapest (Hungary)
       Moderation: Anders Neergaard, Malmö (Sweden)

11.00 am – 11.30 am Coffee break

11.30 am – 1.30 pm: Workshops

1. Tackling discrimination in the labour market - Best practice examples from cities

The focus of the talks will be on good examples of best practice that have been successfully implemented in order to battle discrimination and to promote equal opportunities for all in the labour market.

The panellists represent the private sector, local and national governments, and civil society. The session will conclude by discussing the value added by transnational cooperation between cities and other stakeholders, through networks such as ECCAR, in promoting equal opportunities in the labour market.

Room: Konzerthaus, Großer Saal
Languages: English, German, French (simultaneous)

Coordination: Ronald Derks, Corrie Wolfs, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Cooperation partner: City of Rotterdam

Max. Participants: open

2. The roles of the different stakeholders in the fight against discrimination at the local level: a focus on cities' visions and practices

There cannot be only one standard solution on how to fight discrimination at the local level; however it is also a local and regional responsibility to make sure that human rights are respected. The methods to combat racism may differ from city to city because of the administrative traditions and circumstances in the cities, and because of the specific local perceptions of and stance on racism.

The workshop starts with a presentation by Amnesty International, Capacity Building Office, on current challenges in the fight against discrimination at the local level in Europe, highlighting the main stakeholders.
Then, four ECCAR Cities (Berlin, Malmö, Botkyrka and Bologna) will present their experiences, focusing on best practices, and describing possible roles, responsibilities and available resources within the cities.
The presentations will describe internal and external actions, as the cities above all bear the responsibility to act as an equal employer and service-provider, in order to gain trust and credibility from civil society. They will further discuss whether it is necessary to establish multi-actor protocols of cooperation against discrimination in order to map, recognize, strengthen and hold accountable the different stakeholders, and how to do this. The role of potential victims of and witnesses to discrimination as well as victims’ associations in this process shall also be discussed.

After the cities’ presentations, the group will split into four sub-groups, where specific themes (e.g. different stakeholders’ roles) will be discussed using a world café methodology (http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html), where each person will be able to discuss all themes. The topics of the different tables will be organized with regards to the ECCAR Ten-Point Plan of Action.

Topics will be:
• Better Support for the Victims of Racism and Discrimination
• The City as an Active Supporter of Equal Opportunity Practices
• The City as an Equal Opportunities Employer and Service Provider
• Greater Vigilance Against Racism
Some general recommendations on how to set up successful multi-stakeholder partnerships/protocols of cooperation involving various actors from the cities will then be shared during the plenary session.

Room: Konzerthaus, Kleiner Saal
Languages: English, German, French (simultaneous)


Lucia Fresa, Bologna (Italy)
Helena Rojas, Botkyrka (Sweden)
Sonja Dudek, Berlin (Germany)
Jenny Malmsten, Malmö (Sweden)
Cooperation partners:

Ms. Jora Mato, Coordinator of the Territorial Antidiscrimination Network, Bologna (Italy)
Max. Participants: 50

3. ECCAR Toolkit on Equality: What works, and why does it? Concrete examples, Human rights-based approaches, and anti-discrimination clauses in practice

The ECCAR's scientific advisors, Paul Lappalainen and Klaus Starl, supported by UNESCO, Graz and the Swedish Equality Ombudsman, will present the ECCAR Toolkit on Equality, a guide for design and implementation of human rights based equality policies in cities.
They will give answers to the questions:
How to identify challenges?
How to respond to them?
What are the success factors for appropriate political responses to inequality in decision-making, access to services, and work?
How can cities trigger change in their quality as an employer, rule-maker, service provider, contractor and democratic institution?
How to establish anti-discrimination clauses in public procurement which satisfy the law and are effective? Other issues concerning equality and public procurement?
How to evaluate success?

The workshop will be interactive, and mutual learning will be facilitated.

Room: Konzerthaus, Seminarraum S1
Language: English

- Paul Lappalainen, Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Sweden)
- Dr. Klaus Starl, Executive Secretary, European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, ETC Graz (Austria)

Cooperation partner: UNESCO

Max. Participants: 30

4. "I hear you knocking but you can’t come in!"
Ascertaining and counteracting discrimination in housing

Recent reports show that discrimination in the housing market remains by and large a pressing issue (for the Belgian context: Het Not-in-my-property-syndroom, UGent, 2013 and Diversiteitsbaro-meter Huisvesting | Interfederaal Gelijkekansencentrum|Federaal Migratiecentrum). Certain owners prefer not to lease or sell to people of foreign origin or to persons with a disability, for instance. This is a violation of people’s fundamental rights. Even though anti-discrimination legislation provides the instruments to counteract these practices, it still appears to be quite difficult to ascertain specific discriminatory acts in the field of housing.
The City of Ghent has recently launched an action plan against discrimination in the housing market. A central component of this action plan is a research study aimed at developing a methodology of situation testing in the real estate business. The study is being carried out by Ghent University, having started in November 2014, and will be concluded by the summer of 2015. The idea is to create a tool that, in the future, can be independently managed by the city to ascertain discrimination. Any evidence of discrimination should be a lever to start up effective negotiations with the real estate agencies involved.

Starting with a short presentation of the Ghent methodology, Part 1 of the workshop will focus on the results of the Ghent research study and the lessons to be drawn from them. In this session we try to get more insight into both the urgency and range of the problem. How can cities measure discrimination in their housing markets? What variables determine the incidence of discrimination (demographic evolutions, structure of housing market…)?

In Part 2 of the workshop, we examine the ways in which both local authorities and real estate businesses can counteract discrimination. In this workshop, the city of Villeurbanne will present its policy on the subject, while Planerladen (Association for the Promotion of Democratic Town Planning and Area-Based Community Work) will reflect on the situation in Dortmund.

The workshop aims at identifying key interventions influencing the incidence of discrimination in the housing market.

Room: Konzerthaus hall, 1. Floor

Language: English


Marc Van Acker, Ghent (Belgium)
Ilse Neyrinck, Ghent
Cooperation partners:

Hanna Vermaut, Centre for Equal Opportunities (Belgium)
Koen Van der Bracht, Ghent University, Department of Sociology (Belgium)
Marie-Christine Cerrato Debenedetti, Project manager in the fight against discrimination, Villeurbanne (France)
Prof. Dr. Reiner Staubach, Board of Directors, Planerladen e.V., Dortmund (Germany)
Max. Participants: 30

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 pm – 4.30 pm Continuation of Workshops

4.45 pm – 5.45 pm Presentation of the results of the Workshops

5.45 pm – 6.00 pm Closing Words from ECCAR President Benedetto Zacchiroli and adoption of a declaration