ICC international coordinators met on 14-15 November in Bilbao

Intercultural Cities (ICC) programme, Strategy
Zdjęcie przedstawia członków i członkinie sieci miast międzykulturowych na spotkaniu w Bilbao. Osoby stoją na pierwszym planie, a na drugim znajduje się widok na wzgórza i muzeum.

Coordinators of member cities and national and regional networks took part in the annual meeting of of Intercultural Cities programme (ICC), which was hosted by Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) on November 14–15, 2023. Among the participants were representatives of Wrocław from the Wrocław Center for Social Development.

The aim of the annual meeting of ICC coordinators is to summarize the activities and achievements of the past year, present and discuss challenges and solutions, and discuss the work program for the next year 2024. During the first day, the members heard about the priorities for additional strategic guidance of the ICC Advisory Group and proposed actions for the term 2023-25.

On the first day of the meeting, after the strategic session, we took part in a visit to the districts of Bilbao – San Francisco, Bilbao La Vieja, and Zabala with the DIVERSITOURS project, which earlier this year won the Eurocities Award 2023 in the category “From global human mobility to the cohesion of local communities“. The essence of the project is the fact that the tour passes through historically and socially important places for migrant communities in Bilbao, and the guides are people from different countries and cultures – Carmen, Esther, Malik, and George. The tour route and the entire project are developed by the residents of the district supported by the Koop SF 34 association, which fosters the entrepreneurship of people coming to Bilbao.

On the second day of the meeting, during the debrief on Diversitours, we had the opportunity to share impressions and reflect on the possible replication of the project in other cities of the network. Then we listened to a presentation about activities in the city of Bilbao, encompassing the programs supporting migrant women, as well as research projects conducted since 2003 by the Basque Migration Observatory (Ikuspegi) in the field of, among others, Basque attitudes and opinions towards migration. It is worth mentioning that as Wrocław, we had the opportunity to hear about Bilbao’s activities already in 2022, when during Dialogopolis’22 – days of dialogue and intercultural education, an international discussion panel was held presenting the idea of ICC and the experiences of cities’ participation in the program, in which Claudia Laredo from Bilbao City Hall participated.

The meeting ended with a session dedicated to the organisation of intercultural competence training for employees of local governments. Representatives from Portugal, Canada, Italy, and Ukraine shared their experiences and good practices.

We would like to thank the ICC Secretariat and the City of Bilbao for the inspiring agenda and excellent organisation of the meeting.

The Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) is a joint activity of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, initiated during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. Its aim is to support local authorities in creating and implementing intercultural integration policies. Wrocław has been a member of the ICC network since 2021. More about the program – here.

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