Successful peer-to-peer learning session with Barcelona, Berlin, and Bologna on local action plans against anti-Muslim racism

The ECCAR Working Group on Anti-Muslim Racism organized a peer-to-peer learning session on February 14, 2024, on drafting local action plans for its member cities Barcelona, Berlin, and Bologna. Represented by the Berlin State Office for Equal Treatment and Against Discrimination (LADS), colleagues from Berlin had requested the assistance of the ECCAR Office in organizing an in-depth conversation on the “Municipal Plan against Islamophobia” (Barcelona) and the “City Plan for Non-Discriminatory and Human-Rights-Based Administrative Action” (Bologna). Both good practices had been previously featured in the “ECCAR Guidebook on Local Actions against Anti-Muslim Racism. Policy Recommendations for City Administrations and Their Partners”. During the one-hour online meeting, Ana Isabel Rodriguez Basanta with Esther Pardo from Barcelona and Beatrice Collina with Lucia Fresa from Bologna shared with Damla Gündoğdu and Elena Meistrowitz from Berlin their knowledge and experience related to the drafting and the implementing of action plans. 

The ECCAR Global Report 2023 shows that ECCAR cities particularly request exchanges with other cities as a means of support from the ECCAR Office. ECCAR members also evaluated peer-to-peer discussions as the second most effective form of feedback regarding their work against racism. Thus, ECCAR's peer-to-peer formats target capacity building in city administrations and facilitate the knowledge exchange on good practices in the different areas of their anti-racism work. Local action plans have also been identified in the ECCAR Toolkit for Equality as powerful instruments in making anti-racism work an ongoing agenda rather than a one-off political statement as well as in empowering the cities in their role as providers of equal services.

The peer-to-peer learning session had been prepared with the help of questions sent by colleagues from Berlin, setting the objective for the meeting clearly. There are many transferable good practices in drafting and implementing local action plans when the aim is to tackle anti-Muslim racism or any other form of racism. However, socio-political factors in each city impact not only the contents of such a plan and its specific action areas but also the participatory process by which the city administration consults the civil society and other stakeholders about how the action plan should address the current and future needs of the community. 

ECCAR members can contact the Office ( for future requests for similar peer-to-peer learning activities. Furthermore, the ongoing ECCAR project ACTION supports ECCAR member cities through direct consulting, webinars, and online courses in elaborating local action plans against racism.