An intercultural approach to face the immigratory challenge

Last 18th December, coinciding with the International Migrants Day, Barcelona hosted the conference 'Promoting Diversity in Regions' organised by the AER (Assembly of European Regions), with the participation of representatives of regions from 25 European states, to debate proposals for building cohesive societies based on diversity.

Hosted by the authorities of the autonomous government of Catalonia, the conference was attended by the commissioner of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Leen Verbeek and the head of the Migration and Integration Unit of the European Commission, Laura Corrado. During the opening, the president of the AER, Margnus Bernstsson, explained that the conference was aimed at becoming a space to share good practices in the management of integration processes.

The plenary session was entitled "Intercultural approach of diversity management in cities and regions". The different experts agreed on the need to avoid discrimination and segregation, both physical and social, of communities that live together but do not interact. The participants argued for an intercultural approach based on equal rights, duties and opportunities, as well as on the recognition of diversity and the need for interaction. Cities, it was said, are a space where a more inclusive society can be built, but it is in the regions where political commitment and intercultural social consensus can be built. 

Among the good practices presented, the "National Agreement for Interculturality.  Catalonia 2030" stood out. The Secretary of Equality, Migrations and Citizenship of the Catalan Government, Oriol Amorós, explained that, at the time, the National Pact for Immigration was a great consensus on how to welcome immigrants, but that the current circumstances oblige us to work on how we can live together. Catalan interculturalism was said to be based on inclusion that seeks social cohesion. Oriol Amorós stated that these are key words: equality, relationship and mutual recognition. 

The day concluded with the approval of a manifesto stating that: "We defend the best of Europe, a Europe that can offer all citizens, regardless of their personal or family origin, a space of freedom, security and o



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