Europe’s cities Join the Action Week Against Racism

Cities of Europe, take a stand against racism and celebrate diversity by joining the Action Week 2016 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: “Strength In Diversity”.

The slogan for the 2016 campaign was “Strength in Diversity”, and for this year’s Cities campaign, we asked mayors and other public figures to send us photos showing the Strength in Diversity in their city!

Kharkiv, Ukraine

Kharkiv is home to representatives of 111 nationalities and ethnic groups. We have 65 ethnic and cultural associations the activities of which cover over 25% of the city population. Every year the city hosts ‘Kharkiv – Our Home’ Festival of National Cultures.
Interethnic tolerance in our city is a unique heritage which we received from previous generations living in this area. Mayor Gennadiy Kernes and Kharkiv City Council do their best to maintain and strengthen the friendship and understanding between the representatives of various nationalities and ethnic groups living peacefully in Kharkiv.

Kharkiv City Council

Kokkola, Finland

It’s European Action Week Against Racism now. To understand versatility is essential for political decision-making and social understanding. In the picture with me is my colleague Nasima who is the first Finnish MP with immigrant background.

Jutta Urpilainen, Member of the Finnish Parliament

Intercultural Cities Programme

The Intercultural Cities Programme supports the UNITED Strength In Diversity campaign!

Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe

Besancon, France

Rencontrer l’autre, apprendre à le connaître pour en apprécier ses différences et les prendre comme une richesse, briser les stéréotypes si difficiles à débusquer reste le meilleur ferment du vivre ensemble. La Ville de Besançon l’a bien compris. Elle oeuvre au quotidien, avec sa mission de lutte contre les discriminations, contre toutes les formes de discriminations et pour la promotion de l’égalité des droits et des chances, en partenariat avec le large collectif des associations impliquées sur les champs de la lutte contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme.

Meeting each other, getting to know each other, appreciating our differences and taking them as richness, breaking ingrained stereotypes - this is the best way to foment an environment of conviviality. The city of Besancon has understood this well. In partnership with a broad coalition of associations working against racism and antisemitism, we work daily on our mission to fight against all forms of discrimination and to promote equality in rights and opportunities.

Jean-Louis Fousseret, Mayor of Besancon

Geneva, Switzerland

I am profoundly bound to the values of diversity, responsibility, humanity and solidarity which are the tradition and the calling of Geneva, world city.

Je suis profondément attachée aux valeurs de diversité, de responsabilité, d'humanité et de solidarité qui font la tradition et la vocation de Genève, ville-monde.

Esther Alder, Mayor of Geneva

Valencia, Spain

Strength in Diversity!

Joan Ribó, Mayor of Valencia

Rijeka, Croatia

In a very short period Europe has taken hundreds of thousands of refugees who are seeking safety and a better life. Unfortunately, their arrival has coincided with the strengthening of bigotry, misunderstanding and intolerance, so that today little by little Europe is closing its frontiers and is leaving the refuges to the absurdity of the conflicts in their countries.

Therefore, I’ve decided to join this campaign by taking a picture in front of the recently built mosque in Rijeka, to send a message that the acceptance of differences brings strength and wisdom, and to show, perhaps, the most significant characteristics of the people in my city to the world – tolerance, acceptance and respect for everyone.

Vojko Obersnel, Mayor of Rijeka

Patras, Greece

At a time when racism and xenophobia are revived in a number of EU countries, the racist attacks and the influence of nationalist, xenophobic and fascist parties and organizations grow.

It is necessary to strengthen the multifaceted action to combat exclusion and all forms of discrimination based on nationality, color, sex, religion, disability, living standards.

It is our duty to act with understanding, solidarity, friendliness and tolerance.

The European Week Against Racism is another opportunity, especially for the new generation of Patras to be informed, to participate actively, to lead human-oriented activities, to support vulnerable groups such as refugees and migrants and to fight against wars, interventions and closed borders.

Kostas Peletides, Mayor of Patras

Ghent, Belgium

Diversity colours our city and our future.

Resul Tapmaz, Deputy Mayor of Ghent

Piacenza, Italy

"Turn on your mind, turn off prejudices"!

Our “no” to racism must not be whispered: we have to scream it, with conviction.

We have not to hide ourselves behind differences. The real and strong answer is to be joint against racism: this is the courage of a community that wants to undertake an uneasy route and to build a better future for everyone.

Paolo Dosi, Mayor of Piacenza, and Stefano Cugini, councillor for welfare, with the members of "Belleville" municipal aggregation centre

Berlin, Germany

For decades, the Berlin Wall symbolized the lack of freedom. Fortunately, we have since overcome that concrete barrier, and today Berlin stands for freedom and diversity. Only if we are resolute in opposing all forms of discrimination will we manage to live together peacefully. I am committed to that.

Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin

Dortmund, Germany

Dortmund is a vibrant and colourful city. We look back on a long tradition of diversity and tolerance. This is our strength and we are proud of it. That's why we continue to focus on diversity. It is my hope that we will increase awareness for this matter within our society.

Ullrich Sierau, Lord Mayor of Dortmund

Dublin, Ireland

I believe that recognising and celebrating the strength in diversity is crucial to the creation of a fully integrated city. Cultural differences should never divide us, instead they should empower us and consolidate us as a society.

As the current Lord Mayor of Dublin, I stand proudly beside the crest of one of our former Lord Mayors, Ben Briscoe. Ben was one of Ireland’s most famous Jewish politicians, and his father Robert was also Dublin’s first Jewish Lord Mayor. The success that Ben had during his term of office only helps to illustrate the benefits and strength that diversity brought to our city.

Críona Ní Dhálaigh - Lord Mayor of Dublin

Lisbon, Portugal

The Lisbon Municipal Council for Interculturality and Citizenship (CMIC) supports the "Strength in Diversity - European Action Week Against Racism 2016” campaign.

Municipal Council for Immigrant Communities and Ethnic Minorities (CMIC)

Daugavpils, Latvia

Daugavpils possesses a number of characteristic features:
many languages are spoken here,
it is populated by people of many denominations,
it is multicultural,
it is the city of many fates.

Daugavpils City Council