Cities Join the Action Week Against Racism

Cities of Europe took a stand against racism and celebrated diversity by joining the Action Week 2015 campaign!

Many city mayors and representatives from across Europe showed their support – we urged them to join!

Grassroots activism and NGOs are essential in building a fair society for all. But support from city mayors and local government helped to make sure the message is clear: “Hand in Hand for Diversity!”.

How to join?


Strasbourg, France

Communication Working Group of the Council of Europe Intercultural Cities Programme

Brussels, Belgium

Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament - Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Liège, Belgium

In Liège, we share Martin (Luther King)'s dream : "We have to learn to live together as brothers, in order not to die all as idiots."

Jean Pierre Hupkens, Vice-Mayor of Liège (Parti Socialiste Belgium)

Brussels, Belgium

Hand in Hand for diversity: Time for action NOW!

Michael Privot, Director of the European Network against Racism

Oslo, Norway

Libe Rieber-Mohn (Labour Party Norway), Deputy Mayor of Oslo, and Fabian Stang (Conservative Party Norway), Lord Mayor of Oslo

Berlin, Germany

Since several years we see a rise of racist violence across Europe. Racist violence can have deep physical and psychological impact on the victim itself. Racist violence formulates a clear message of hate to the entire society. Therefore we are responsible to support these who are effected by those kinds of unacceptable crimes. - Robert Kusche (RAA Sachsen)

Participants of a meeting in Berlin organised by Advisory Office for Victims of Hate Crime - RAA Sachsen

Vienna, Austria

Racism makes us blind. To accept and support diversity enables us to see how colorful our world can be.

Dr. Hannes Swoboda, Former Member of the European Parliament and Former President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament

Resita, Romania

Diversity is Perfection!

Marius Balean, Member of the City Council of Resita – Social Democratic Party Romania

Brussels, Belgium

Last month around 300 jewish graves were dishonored in France. A quarter of homosexuals in Europe were victims of physical violence - including murder. Last year there were 150 attacks at asylum camps in Germany and at least 23.000 people died since 2000 at the borders of Europe. Racism and homophobia kills!

Letzten Monat wurden rund 300 jüdische Gräber in Frankreich geschändet. Ein Viertel der Homosexuellen in Europa wurde in den vergangenen Jahren Opfer von körperlicher Gewalt – bis hin zum Mord. Vergangenes Jahr gab es in Deutschland über 150 Angriffe auf Geflüchteten-Unterkünfte und mindestens 23.000 Menschen sind seit dem Jahr 2000 an den EU-Außengrenzen gestorben. Rassismus und Homophobie tötet!

Sabine Lösing, Member of the European Parliament - Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left

Warsaw, Poland

Cristina Finch, Head of ODIHR's Tolerance & Non-Discrimination Dept.

Paris, France

Teams of the European and the French Forums for Urban Security

Bilbao, Spain

Cities are built by people`s diversity and plurality.
Las ciudades se construyen con la riqueza de la diversidad y pluralidad de sus gentes.

Oihane Agirregoitia, Councellor of Bilbao for Equality, Cooperation and Citizenship

Budapest, Hungary

Csilla Toth, Programme Assistent of "At Home in Europe" Project - Open Society Initiative for Europe

London, Great-Britain

In the last seven years, 'At Home in Europe' has worked to advance the inclusion of vulnerable communities in a changing Europe. The project has placed a high priority on local community and city-level practices that mitigate discrimination and seek to ensure equal treatment for all, regardless of ethnic or religious background. We believe in understanding differences and overcoming challenges. As an interviewee from our research said: ‘Yes, I am new compared to others. But I feel that I have lived in Leicester forever. I would define myself as European, Somali, Muslim… whether you are black or white, or Asian, or Muslim, or Christian, or Sikh, people have respect for you.

Ana Macouzet, Programme Coordinator of "At Home in Europe" Project - Open Society Initiative for Europe

Bern, Switzerland

Hopefully all over Europe we would work together to make a change. It is what we try year after year in the city of Berne – together against racism!

Marianne Helfer, specialist for integration, dept. for education, social and sports of the city Bern

Karlsruhe, Germany

Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of Karlsruhe - Social Democratic Party of Germany

Neumünster, Germany

Jörn Seib, Member of the City Council of Neumünster (Bündnis für Bürger), Kirsten Eickhoff-Weber, Member of the German State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein (Social Democratic Party of Germany) and Thorsten Klimm, Member of the City Council of Neumünster (Social Democratic Party of Germany)

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Dr. Ralf Stegner, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in Schleswig-Holstein and Member of the German State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein, Kirsten Eickhoff-Weber, Member of the German State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein (SPD), Hasan Horata (SPD) and Elke Christina Roeder, candidate for the mayoral election in Neumünster (SPD)

Kiel, Germany

Achmed and Members of the German State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein (Social Democratic Party of Germany), Kirsten Eickhoff-Weber and Serpil Midyatli

Brussels, Belgium

Fifty years after the UN-Convention against racism, the work is not finished, at all. The un-convenient truth is that, until today, racial discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes are very present in our
societies. Even if there is a role for everyone to combat racism, the burden is on the shoulders of our political leaders to improve and enforce legislation and to promote a more equal and just society.

Jozef de Witte, Director of the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism

Brussels, Belgium

Combatting right extremism, anti-semitism and racism is a constant task. My Europe is a diverse, tolerant and solidary Europe.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Member of the European Parliament - Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Brussels, Belgium

69 South Africans, who demonstrated against apartheid, were killed on 1960. Six years later the UN declared March, 21 the Day Against Racism and Discrimination. Apartheid does not exist anymore, but racism and discrimination haven`t disappeared. On the contrary: Nationalistic and right wing populism is strengthening. In the European Parliament are more right wing and nationalistic parties than ever before. Together we can stop them!

Barbara Lochbihler, Member of the European Parliament - Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Strasbourg, France

Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy (DG II), Council of Europe

Brussels, Belgium

We are all human. No to racism.

Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg, Member of the European Parliament - Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D)

Winterthur, Switzerland

Actions against racism are deemed very important by the City of Winterthur – we’re therefore members of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism. In our daily business we conciously work to improve the understanding between our city’s different culture groups and to integrate every group into our society.

Michael Kuenzle, Mayor of Winterthur - Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland

Ghent, Belgium

Research shows that in Flanders racism and discrimination still frequently occur on the housing market and the labor market. As local government we try to do everything within our power to counter racism and discrimination in Ghent. An efficacious anti-racism policy must reach further than raising awareness.

Resul Tapmaz, Deputy Mayor of Ghent - Socialist Party Differently

Brussels, Belgium

Birgit Sippel, Member of the European Parliament - Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D)

Glasgow, Great-Britain

Glasgow is committed to helping eliminate racial discrimination and harassment and promoting racial justice across the City. Glasgow is a diverse and tolerant city with a vision for equality and mutual respect for all its citizens.

Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Sadie Docherty - Scottish Labour Party

Brussels, Belgium

We all have many fantastic opportunities to communicate, work or learn with different people from all over the World. We have to enjoy this opportunity. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a good day to talk about tolerance and diversity. Diversity enriches all of us.

Antanas Guoga, Member of the European Parliament - Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Intercultural Cities, Council of Europe

Discrimination makes us all poorer.
There is ample evidence that diversity and migration bring benefits – economic, cultural and social – and makes cities more attractive. When we fail to recognise the diversity advantage and exclude those with a different cultural background from politics, the economy and social networks, our lives are poorer. Discrimination hearts us all

Irena Guidikova, Head of Division World Forum for Democracy, Intercultural cities programme manager
, Council of Europe