Cities for all of us - ECCAR calls for strong & inclusive partnerships on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Cities for all of us - ECCAR calls for strong & inclusive partnerships on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 21 March 2021 

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, ECCAR cities all across Europe renew their promise to counter racism. As ECCAR, we have committed ourselves to the shared vision of a Europe that protects its inhabitants from racism and discrimination. Through that, we want to promote diversity and equality. Being part of UNESCO ICCAR (International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities) we join UNESCO’s Global Call against Racism that emerged as a wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to reinforce the fight against racism. Recent studies showed that among the groups most affected by COVID-19 are racialized groups. “After more than one year of COVID-19 reinforcing the already existing racial inequalities, it is crucial to join forces and show solidarity with the people affected the most”, emphasizes ECCAR vice-president Aida Guillén.

Even during the pandemic, young activists, all across Europe found creative ways to make their voices heard. The Black Lives Matter movement is calling for racial justice and structural change! These demands have made it possible for the President of the European Parliament Ursula von der Leyen to announce the first EU Anti-Racism Action Plan (2020-2025).

As European Coalition of Cities against Racism, the vision of an inclusive and diverse Europe is what guides our work. We hope that this first EU Anti-Racism Action Plan (ARAP) can be a meaningful and inclusive pathway towards structural change. Now, it is important to take concrete next steps. As key actors in developing programs to build more inclusive, just and sustainable societies, we want to highlight the importance of the voices of cities to counter racism and discrimination successfully to reinforce the value of pluralism. The cooperation between ECCAR and the European Commission is an important step to include the perspectives of local administrations. “For the implementation of the EU Anti-Racism Action plan participation is key! It is crucial to build strong and inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships to include all governmental layers and civil society in this process” states ECCAR president Benedetto Zacchiroli.

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