According to a survey conducted in 2007 by the Directorate of General Education and Culture of the European Commission, almost three-quarters of EU citizens believe that people with a different background (ethnic, religious or national) enrich the cultural life of their country. The dominant sentiment is that intercultural dialogue is beneficial to cities and local economies alike. Lia Ghilardi and Franco Bianchini have worked as key experts for the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC). Launched in 2008 as a joint pilot initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, the programme sets out to examine the impact of cultural diversity and migration on European cities, and identifies strategies and policies which could help them to work with diversity as a factor in development. As well as organising conferences and dedicated training for experts and mentors, the programme supports a network of 11 cities, each working on aspects of intercultural living through practical projects or innovative policies. More information.
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