Cities Join the Action Week Against Racism

Cities of Europe, take a stand against racism and celebrate diversity by joining the Action Week 2013 campaign!

Many city mayors and representatives from across Europe have already shown their support – we urge more to join them!

Grassroots activism and NGOs are essential in building a fair society for all. But support from city mayors and local government can help make sure the message is clear: “We Fit Together!”.

How to join?


ECCAR President Mr Makengo 1

European Coalition of Cities Against Racism – ECCAR

President of ECCAR and Deputy-Mayor of Toulouse Jean-Paul Makengo supports the European Action Week Against Racism.

The European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) is a network of cities sharing experiences in order to improve policies to fight racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

President of ECCAR and Deputy-Mayor of Toulouse

GB-London AtHomeInEuropeNaziaHussainDirector

At Home in Europe Project, OSF

Local governments are at the forefront of demographic and social change. This is when effective and courageous leadership is needed to ensure that all people feel they are treated fairly. NGO networks, such as UNITED, are vital in the fight against racism and extremism in its various forms, but elected officials must, at the same time, address the realities and challenges in their societies. Our own research has shown that where there is engagement and dialogue between local government and its communities, and when there is a recognition and will to combat prejudice and unfair treatment, then there is a greater degree of trust towards government and meaningful participation from individuals and groups, creating a strong sense of belonging and responsibility, beneficial for all in society.

Nazia Hussain, Director, At Home in Europe, Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE)


President Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe

Mr. Van Staa supported the Action Week Against Racism by opening the 21 March 2013 session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg with the words:
"This is the International Day Against Racism"

Mr Herwig Van Staa President Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe; President of the Parliament of the Land Tirol (Austria)


Intercultural Cities, Council of Europe

The 60+ cities engaged in the Intercultural cities programme of the Council of Europe are developing policies based on the understanding that diversity can be an asset for economic, social and cultural development. But this asset becomes real only if racism is eliminated and if all citizens have the chance to contribute to the community in line with their talents and aspirations

Irena Guidikova, Intercultural Cities Manager of the Council of Europe

ITL - EuropeanParliament - MrsLochbihler

Subcomittee for Human Rights, European Parliament

The European society is no status quo, it is what we make of it. I refuse to live in a Europe Union where the worth of a human being is attached to her or his skin colour, ethnic group or religion. Therefore, together with my colleagues from the Greens/EFA, I stand and struggle for an EU rich in diversity, during the 20th European Action Week Against Racism as much as in my personal and political everyday life.

Mrs Barbara Lochbihler, Chair of the Subcomittee for Human Rights in the European Parliament

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Mayors of Dublin & Barcelona

As first Citizen of Dublin and on behalf of the City council I would like to state clearly that Dublin is a city that says NO to Racism and Discrimination. Our One City One People Campaign that we run each autumn along with our work with Intercultural Cities, most recently amplified in the hosting of the Council of Europe Milestone Conference here in Dublin, clearly shows our commitment to standing up to discrimination of any kind. Our city is one that is welcoming open and diverse, one that has benefitted from this diversity advantage and is more innovative, creative and cohesive as a result. We still have problems in areas where exclusion and discrimination exist and we are committed to continuing to work on reducing this through education, equality and diversity training and promotion of inclusion. We are delighted to support UNITED and the European ACTION Week Against racism in March that will coincide with the celebration of our country’s culture on St. Patricks Day.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí pictured with the Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias

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Mayor of Lisbon, Portugal

The Municipality of Lisbon supports UNITED in their campaign to stop discrimination and encourage cities to value diversity. Lisbon says: “We Do Fit Together”.

“O Município de Lisboa apoia a UNITED na sua campanha para pôr fim à discriminação e incentiva as cidades a valorizarem a diversidade. Lisboa diz: “Juntos na diversidade”.

António Costa, Mayor of Lisbon.


Units of Local Self-Government of Macedonia

The Association of Local Self-Governments of the Republic of Macedonia is an association of all local authorities in the country, and which sincerely joins the European action week against racism, organized by UNITED.

Diversity is an advantage and not an obstacle' should be the motto of every local community, if it wants to be in the true sense of the word a union of all its citizens. Local communities are the one that needs to show willingness to overcome any prejudice and to provide conditions for a society of mutual trust, dialogue and understanding. Multiculturalism, integration of all in the community is the most important tool and pathway to lead the community in innovation of creative solutions for better living conditions. An honest support of the community in developing awareness to overcome racial discrimination or any prejudices of its people is the only way for it to become successful. Each improvement or development in the local community without removing the discriminatory elements is not valuable and has no longer-term effect, thus will be shortly outlived. This is completely understood by the Macedonian municipalities who are continuously paying more attention to overcome such challenges.

Mrs Dusica Perisic, Director, Association of the Units of Local Self-Government of Macedonia (ZELS)


Ghent, Belgium

Together with all the citizens of Ghent we respect diversity and we fight against discrimination and racism.

Resul Tapmaz Deputy-Mayor of Ghent, Belgium


Lutsk, Ukraine

Someone who says 'we don't fit together', is someone who says 'I don’t want to understand the other'.

Tetiana Hnativ, Chief of the Municipal Cultural Department, City of Lutsk

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Council of Europe, Strasbourg

European Institutions join the Action Week Against Racism

Mrs Eleni Tsetsekou, Support team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues


Council of Europe, Strasbourg

European Institutions join the Action Week Against Racism

Mr Michael Guet, Head of Roma and Travellers Division, Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers

PL - Warsaw Vive-Mayor Prezydent W. Paszyński TWzR

Warsaw, Poland

The City of Warsaw is involved in various social campaigns fighting racism and other forms of discrimination. Through the activities carried out jointly with "Never Again" Association we make Warsaw a place that is open, diverse and multicultural - a place where tolerance is a real value.

Włodzimierz Paszyński, Vice-Mayor of Warsaw


Patras, Greece

But…who says we don’t fit together? The city of Patras totally supports the European Action Week Against Racism organized by UNITED, the Europe's largest antiracist network. The Mayor of Patras, Mr Yannis Dimaras and the Vice Mayor of support of citizens, volunteerism, gender equality and inclusion of migrants Mrs Andrikopoulou-Rouvali are joining the campaign and want to help with all their might UNITED and the European Action Week Against Racism.

Statement: The Mayor of Patras, Mr Yannis Dimaras and the Vice Mayor of support of citizens, volunteerism, gender equality and inclusion of migrants Mrs Andrikopoulou-Rouvali. Pictured: Vice-Mayor Mrs Andrikopoulou-Rouvali

Henrik Hammar 19mar13

Örkelljunga, Sweden

The City of Örkelljunga Values Diversity!

Henrik Hammer, Mayor of Örkelljunga


Calabria, Italy

Calabria respects diversity!

Mr Antonio Eroi, deputy of the Italian province Calabria

DELRIO per European Action Week Against Racism

Reggio Emilia, Italy

La Città Interculturale europea, Reggio Emilia, aderisce alla Settimana d'azione Europea contro il Razzismo, e si impegna a contrastare ogni discriminazione e a favorire la convivenza delle molteplicità di culture, idee, linguaggi ed esperienze.

The European Intercultural City of Reggio Emilia joins the European Action Week Against Racism and it engages to fight against any discrimination and to promote living together and the coexistence of cultures, idea, languages, experiences.

Graziano Delrio, Mayor of the City of Reggio Emilia


Nieuw-West, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Iedereen moet in Nieuw-West vrij kunnen zijn. Vrij om te zijn wie je bent ongeacht leeftijd, afkomst, geslacht, handicap, seksuele geaardheid of op welke grond dan ook. Iedereen is gelijk, maar niet hetzelfde.

Everyone in Amsterdam Nieuw-West should have the possibility to be free. Free to be who you are regardless of age, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any other grounds whatsoever. Everyone is equal, but not the same.

Achmed Baâdoud, Chairman of City District Nieuw-West in Amsterdam


Bern, Switzerland

Diversity is a reality in European cities. So is racism and exclusion as the downside of it. That is why cities have to fight racism and stand together for equality.

Marianne Helfer, from the Directorate for Education, Welfare and Sport of the city of Bern.

H - PécsMayorZsoltPáva

Pécs, Hungary

We really fit together!

Mr Zsolt Páva, Mayor of Pécs

P - Setúbal_Mayor

Setúbal, Portugal

Setúbal is proud to be a city council open to all, where everyone can feel at home. We have been working hard to empower the cultural diversity of the people who live here. We welcome, with arms wide open, all the people that come to us, wherever they come from. We recognize the value of sharing different beliefs and cultures as an important source of development and empowerment for the community as a whole. Therefore, we need to raise awareness against the racism and all forms of intolerance. We, as a city council, must support this campaign. Because we believe in a World for all.

Maria das Dores Meira, Mayor of Setúbal

PL - WarsawKarolinaMalczyk&JacekPurski

Warsaw, Poland

The City of Warsaw is involved in various social campaigns fighting racism and other forms of discrimination. Through the activities carried out jointly with "Never Again" Association we make Warsaw a place that is open, diverse and multicultural - a place where tolerance is a real value.

Karolina Malczyk, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Warsaw for equal treatment

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Botkyrka, Sweden

Botkyrka is in this together with you! Interculturality holds the key to a successful society. It is a necessity.

Jens Sjöström, Deputy-Mayor of Botkyrka


Brussels, Belgium

The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism is a public institution that aims to promote equal opportunities and that fights any type of exclusion, restriction or preferential treatment based on legally stipulated criteria.

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


Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao City Council works on promoting interculturalism, openness and social cohesion in diversity at the local level. We expressly condemn any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, nationality or gender. We know the corrosive effects these attitudes can have on society and we are determined to fight it wherever we find it.

Oihane Agirregoitia. Counciller for Equality, Cooperation and Citizenship. Bilbao City Council.

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Subotica, Serbia

We all fit together, there is no doubt about it!

Modest Duliç, Mayor of Subotica


Tilburg, Netherlands

I can't even answer the question "do we fit together?" because it’s so strange to put such a question at the meeting of so many different but united people from various countries – Ukraine, Sweden, Georgia, Russia, Netherlands…" [speaking at the recent 'Democracy through Culture' international conference, on the 21 March 2013, in the Ukraine].

Gon Mevis, Director of the TWENTE foundation, and former city councilor at the City of Tilburg.


Pryluky, Ukraine

Race can only describe a person living outside of the Earth!

Olena Kanavets, Chief of the Strategic Planning Department, City of Pryluky.