COE: Intercultural Citizenship Test

Intercultural PedagogyThe Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Programme has created an Intercultural Citizenship Test, designed to spark discussion of what makes a good citizen in a multicultural context. It can be taken online, or offline, and is specifically intended to be a teaching tool. What’s particularly nice is that the focus is not on getting right or wrong answers, but sparking discussion.

“Interculturalism is about understanding that well managed diversity and positive interaction between different cultures can be an advantage. It moves beyond simply accepting different cultures and celebrates both the differences and similarities between them as something that can make communities stronger.

This of course does not mean that it is only about praising new or stranger cultures, but also about honouring traditional and local sides of culture. It is all about the relationship between these, and the many aspects that make up a community. These could be, but are not limited to, nationality, ethnic origin, language, gender identity and sexual orientation and religious beliefs.”

The Intercultural Citizenship Test is available in an impressive range of languages: Basque, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Alternative Narratives and Intercultural Communication

Applied ICDAlternative Narratives and Intercultural Communication: Building Bridges Between Intercultural Policies and Communication, An Intercultural Cities Academy, Council of Europe, 12-21 April 2021, Online.

What story does your city tell? All cities have a history; a sequence of concrete facts that are known, and that have brought us to where we are today. However, how we tell the story of our city, how we choose to frame it, the narratives we choose, will impact how that story is perceived and understood. Our story is but a puzzle of many small, diverse and intertwined pieces with different shapes and forms. The story of our city is in fact not one, but many. Do you know what stories are told and listened to? How are they told, and by whom? Is the same story told by everyone, in the same way? Herein lies the art of narrative – while we cannot change facts, we have the power to choose how we communicate about them, ensuring all stories of our city are told. We understand we can enrich our communication with multiple perspectives, fill it with many voices and value the diversity of our city. Through this, we share our history while adding more pieces to the puzzle.

When to tell that story? For intercultural inclusion to occur, city authorities shall adopt a clear and well-publicised message emphasising their commitment to intercultural principles, on all occasions, in all their communication. Every story is intercultural in a diverse city and can contribute to achieving a climate of public opinion more conducive to positive intercultural relations.

Who should that story target? All residents, regardless of their nationalities, origins, languages, religions/beliefs, sexual orientation and age group. This is not to say that every communication needs to be intended for every resident, as the most effective communications are those that target audience segments defined by particular core values and daily concerns.

Target group? Communication staff, press officers, coordinators and other relevant city representatives of cities that are members of Intercultural Cities Programme.

Intercultural Cities and Quality of Life

Applied ICDSince 2008, the Council of Europe, through its flagship programme Intercultural Cities, has supported more than 120 local authorities in Europe and around the world, in designing and implementing inclusive policies and strategies for migrant and refugee integration according to the Intercultural approach. Based on the notion of “diversity advantage”, these strategies are founded on the assumption that diversity can be an asset for communities if managed in a positive and competent way; they mobilise leaders, policy officials, professionals, businesses and civil society towards re-shaping city policies and services to make them more effective and engage citizens in building an understanding of the societies’ diversity(ies) as a competitive advantage for all.

A new study by the Migration Policy Group enquires whether the Intercultural integration approach advocated by the Council of Europe, leads to a better quality of life in diverse cities. The results confirm a strong statistical link between local intercultural policies and local well-being.

Continue reading “Intercultural Cities and Quality of Life”

Culture in EU external relations

Preparatory Action on Culture in the EU External Relations

The Preparatory Action “Culture in EU External Relations” is an initiative funded by the European Union. It is implemented by the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture, with the support of a Consortium of eight cultural institutes and organisations, which won an open call for tenders to this effect.

This Preparatory Action was initiated by the European Parliament following its Resolution on the cultural dimensions of the EU external action, which called for the development of a visible common EU strategy on culture in the EU external relations.

The preparatory action will run until mid-2014 and consists of the following stages:

Stage #1
a comprehensive mapping of existing resources, approaches and strategies regarding culture in external relations in Member States and in a number of EU partner countries;

Stage #2
a consultations process involving a wide variety of stakeholders from both the EU and third countries, which should contribute to identifying strategies and visions on the contribution of culture to the development of external relations as well as the positioning of different actors vis-à-vis this topic;

Stage #3
a final conference to be held mid-2014 to draw conclusions and recommendations for a strategic approach to mobilising the potential of culture in EU external relations.

In addition to the EU Member States, this preparatory action covers the following partner countries of the EU:

  • the Neighbouring countries of the EU:  Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine
  • the 10 strategic partners of the EU:  Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States of America

The purpose of the action is to facilitate and support an on-going process of research, exchange of knowledge and public debate about the role of culture in the EU’s external relations.

Furthermore, the ambition is to engage the broader civil society in the discussion by inviting online debate on this blog and on our social media platforms. Everybody is invited to join the discussion!

The members of the consortium in charge of implementing this action are convinced that culture can play a decisive role in the development of external relations and are committed to bringing new knowledge and research to the attention of policy-makers on a national, European and international level.

List of members of the consortium:
The Goethe Institut, Brussels
BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels
The British Council, Brussels
The Danish Cultural Institute, Brussels
ECF European Cultural Foundation
IFA Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen
The Institut français, Paris
KEA European Affairs

Independent experts:
Prof. Yudhishthir Raj Isar (Team Leader/Scientific Manager)
Rod Fisher
Damien Helly

Associated partner:
EUNIC Global


Euro-Med Seminar ICD


We are pleased to announce the Euro-Mediterranean seminar “Indicators for Intercultural Dialogue in Non-formal Education Activities”, organised in the framework of the partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of youth from 22-24 September 2011 in Mollina, Spain, during the 12th University on Youth and Development.

The participants of the seminar will be youth workers, trainers in non-formal education, educational experts and researchers, stakeholders, and youth policy experts from the Euro-Mediterranean region. All participants should:
Be interested and experienced in the topics of intercultural dialogue;
Be familiar with the intercultural dialogue aspects in non-formal education activities;
Be ready to contribute to the programme and reflections of the seminar;
Be able to work in English;
Be interested in the University on Youth and Development;
Be available for the full duration of the seminar.
Priority will be given to the participants/practitioners interested in contributing to the testing and evaluation phase of the project.

The detailed presentation of the project and of the seminar, as well as the application procedure can be found in Presentation call for pax seminar ICD indicators Sept 2011. Please note that the application form should be submitted on-line by 18 July 2011.

Viktoria Karpatska
Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of youth
c/o: Council of Europe – Directorate of Youth and Sport
European Youth Centre Budapest
H-1024 Budapest, Zivatar u. 1-3. HUNGARY
E-mail:; Fax: +36 1 212 4076 |

See original post for further information.

Toolkit for Intercultural Dialogue

“The INGO Conference of the Council of Europe is elaborating a practical guide to conduct dialogues where they are most needed. The aim is to provide a hands-on concise, user-friendly Tool. Its approach will not be on the “high end culture”, but rather aims to help build social cohesion and the human rights based approach regarding diversity issues.

The accumulation of unresolved issues in matters of diversity and migration over the last two years have led to an intolerable level of Human Rights infringements in European countries. The Conference of INGOs has witnessed this regrettable evolution and has discussed it.

The Council of Europe NGO Forum of 23-25 March in Istanbul gave the opportunity to reactivate the intercultural dialogue theme. Over 70 NGO representatives, many from South Eastern Europe, participated. Civil society activists from Egypt and Tunisia met with INGO Conference leaders in a small but important side event of the Forum. Three Workshops looked into the new challenges of intercultural societies and a fourth team began its work on assembling the Toolkit for Conducting Intercultural Dialogue. This team consisted of a Barbados-born British, a Portuguese, a Russian, a Swedish-Italian, a Romanian and a Swiss Coordinator. The team began to work based on the Forum’s Workshop findings and the Feedback to a Questionnaire from the participants.

On 14 April the INGO Conference Standing Committee adopted the draft chapters of the Toolkit and gave the green light for the editing and writing and it continues to oversee this work. The INGO Conference Plenary meeting of 21 June unanimously approved the overall content and approach. The Dialogue Toolkit is scheduled for presentation and for initiating the test phase in mid-November.

Along with the Toolkit, the INGO Conference will develop a Dialogue Implementation Phase and is looking forward to working in partnership with interested and competent bodies.”

[Original post: Council of Europe Non-Governmental Organisations]

Intercultural Cities

Intercultural cities: governance and policies for diverse communities

Joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission

Intercultural Cities

The Intercultural cities programme emerged from the Council of Europe’s significant experience of projects that focus on issues concerned with the management of diversity. Considerable reflection has been undertaken in relation to the principles and practices of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

Intercultural cities is a capacity-building and policy development field programme which has been implemented by the Council of Europe in partnership with the European Commission. It runs complementary to many other current projects and events (conferences, research, exchanges, and campaigns).  The programme’s long-term, comprehensive approach will contribute to the sustainability of the political impetus of one of the Council of Europe’s declared priorities concerning the practice of diversity in today’s world.


  • An intercultural city has people with different nationality, origin, language or religion / beliefs. Political leaders and most citizens regard diversity positively, as a resource.
  • The city actively combats discrimination and adapts its governance, institutions and services to the needs of a diverse population.
  • The city has a strategy and tools to deal with diversity and cultural conflict. It encourages greater mixing and interaction between diverse groups in the public spaces.

For further information, including comparison of different cities, see the original post.

EU/CoE program: SPARDA

The European Union and the Council of Europe have established a new joint program: Shaping Perceptions and Attitudes to Realise the Diversity Advantage (SPARDA). This will last 18 months, will be coordinated by Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, and have a budget of over 1 million. The objective is: “To promote intercultural dialogue on the basis of the guidelines and recommendations set out in the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue [CM(2008)30] at local, national and international level. The programme addresses the democratic governance of cultural diversity, the promotion of democratic participation and citizenship, the teaching and learning of intercultural competences, the development of spaces for intercultural dialogue and the role of intercultural dialogue in international relations.”

For further information, see the announcement on their SPARDA site.

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