The month of August marks the end of the 2-year URGENT project.
On May 30th and June 1st took place the final International Conference in Athens, Greece, where the project consortium gathered to make a point on the project’s results of the past years. The conference was also the occasion to develop two fundamental documents: the Manifesto and the Handbook, intending to build a common understanding on interculturalism, social inclusion and integration of migrants.
Both the URGENT Manifesto and the Handbook are now available on the new URGENT website, which also includes resources on the experiences undertaken by local communities throughout the project, information on past international events, local partner organisations, as well as documents, surveys and reports conducted during the past two years.
The URGENT manifesto includes several statements, which help to understand the commitments that each partner organisation strived to carry out while they were collaborating with the local governments and the stakeholders involved in the fight against xenophobia and Euroscepticism. During the implementation of the URGENT project, partners shared their experiences and ended up selecting 4 priorities: (1) Foster the intercultural dialogue; (2) Struggle against socio-spatial segregation; (3) Create conditions for an active citizens’ participation in the political process; (4) Ensure the access to basic services.
The URGENT Handbook is now published. It aims at reviewing all of the activities that have been set up during the project in order to extract lessons which will help us to implement our future initiatives. These initiatives will strive towards the improvement of the standard of living in the marginalised neighbourhoods, the fight against stereotypes and the promotion of the social inclusion. The Handbook explains in detail the methodology used during the project and goes back over the international events and the local activities implemented within the framework of a comprehensive agenda.
This Handbook emphasizes that the creation and the use of some public spaces at the local level can foster mutual learning among citizens who come from different socio-cultural backgrounds and different European countries. However, it also points out that many local communities and institutions are still struggling for a proper representation as well as for a horizontal policy-making process, which would encompass the members of marginalised groups. The integration of the whole population has to be our primary aim if we want to develop effectively our capacity to ensure the intercultural dialogue. In conclusion, we can assert that the URGENT project has contributed to build a more cohesive Europe.
For further information about the project results, please visit the following website: http://www.urgent-project.eu