Human and Territorial Cohesion
Governance and participatory democracy
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Collaboration with the European Committee on Democracy and Good Governance on inclusive democratic participation
Anne-Marie Chavanon, Chair of the Committee presented recent initiatives and efforts being deployed by civil society groups and NGOs in cooperation with public authorities especially at local level, that aimed at increasing inclusive democratic participation, witha view to counteracting disengagement and segregation as well as combatting radicalisation and extremism.
In the exchange which followed, participants outlined recently adopted measures aimed at developing local authorities’ awareness of and responsiveness to radicalism, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, local development and the prevention of racist and extremism language on-line. The CDDG would welcome additional information on the “interculturalcities” programme and the “No Hate Speech Campaign” of the Council of Europe.
The chair of the CDDG, Paul-Henri Phillips supported by the committee, invited all participants, delegations, NGOs, the Congress and observers to provide the Secretariat with an overview of initiatives being implemented or under consideration with a view to promoting inclusive societies and preventing extremism activities especially in cities and towns.This overview will constitute the basis for an exchange of views and sharing of experiences at the next CDDG meeting.
Active coexistence, the ability to be with someone
The Coexist association, founded by Samuel GRZYBOWSKI, brings together young people from 15 to 35, from all walks of life, all conviction and religions (Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists). It has 1,800 members in France and 600 active people. It aims to enable young people to live an "experience of unity on something other than their identity, that question so present in the march " I am Charlie, I am .. "
Diversity in their affiliations and unity in action
The association offers each young person the possibility to live its difference as a way of singularity so as to live more strongly common shares (dialogue elements, visit of worship places, organizing debates, roundtables, actions of solidarity with the poor, the elderly, the sick, the children).
They are in contact with other young people in schools, colleges, universities to deconstruct with them by conducting a work on religious but also ethnic and cultural prejudice .
In 7 years, CO-EXIST has enabled 27,000 young people to meet.
A French citizen, secular, republican and muslim: a mediator
"I am a French, secular and republican citizen, a Muslim," said Abdel Belmokadem from the outset.
Born in Vaux-en-Velin, Abdel is now a reference in the field of mediation and living together.
After a professional boxing career that led him to the top step of the podium, Abdel, long illiterate, has gone back to school. He wanted a job. To be in solidarity with others. He was deputy mayor at Vaux en Velin for 10 years before leaving politics and creating the Nés &cités (pronounced necessity) which aims to mediation in popular neighborhoods, to establish contact between sensitive areas and the economic, institutional and polical world.
Extend our hand
His profession of faith: "going towards the others, helping them as I was helped myself, and move forward with them."
A priority: jobs
Abdel puts in daily contact companies and city youth. We have, he said, developed concepts that are aiming at bringing closer young people and recruiting companies who have trouble finding specific profiles in times of crisis.
Due to 20,000 contact proposals from employers, 7,000 young people have found jobs, thanks to this direct contact.
We're lucky he said, the economic world follows us (my first sponsors in sports, and now many companies look for talents coming from our neighbourhoods to strengthen their activities and their development. "They can no longer afford to do without this human resource. "We love, he said, to work on our similarities but it is with our differences that we are complementary and the most useful.
"Jobs created a dynamic within families and within the territory because, yes, he says, these territories are marked! Yes, there are people who are lost! Yes, the actors that accompany them, are alone! Yes, the government has just forgotten us!,
"If there is one single message to fight against the scourge of regimentation, whether religious or criminal, it is employment!"
Dominique Jung : the success of the demonstration on January 11 has changed the way France looks at itself
Dominique JUNG, DNA Chief editor, shared with NGOs a very thorough analysis, sometimes incisive, of difficulties which hinder the development of more cohesive societies.
According to Dominique JUNG, France has been aware of transcending its individualism, but to the gratitude felt during the immediate mobilization succeeded, in his mind, a sense of concern about the number of dubious people, skeptics, recalcitrant not to the killing itself, unanimously condemned, but to the emotion it evoked : Is it that we already mobilized all convinced people, he asks? Didn’t we share a sort of collective exorcism rite which was lovely but left indifferent a significant portion of our citizens?
Do not underestimate Semitism
If the fight for the freedom of the press is a noble fight, it must not crush, insists Dominique JUNG, other battles such as the one against anti-Semitism "singled out" by the events of 11 January.
Consider the new information mapping
Dominique JUNG believes that the information map is redrawn today, with a ditch on the credibility of sources: social networks produce the best and the worst, the immediacy of information but also the dissemination and amplification of unverified information, false and dangerous rumors ... a kind of particle bombardment. These rumors are taking credit merely because they exist and circulate, he said giving the example of conspiracy theses appeared on the internet. This is the type of information that explains, in his eyes, the violence of hostility towards France, observed in some countries.
Asking more questions is our journalistic role underlines the editor, columnist of DNA, particularly on the link between politics and religion, between aesthetics, especially iconoclasm, and the way of thinking society between globalization and the emergence of a new "Terra incognita" where you cannot enter without risking death, he said, hoping that the Japanese journalist held by Daech be spared.
In his eyes, the killing at Charlie Hebdo shows that at the heart of Europe, there are "mentalities that may seem far from the values which we hope will be universal" ...
Sunday, 11 January, in Paris, a million and a half people carried by a brotherhood momentum we strongly expected brought forth a vibrant hope: that of a renewed and more welded society!
The event was attended by about sixty heads of state and government joining together against extreme violence. It mobilized nearly 4 million people in France and millions of others worldwide. Thant day will remain in the history of our country and, hopefully, in the history of Europe.
Thank you to all of you who shared with us in your own country, for your support to resist terrorism and express our humanity!
It was a time of grace, a time during which political affiliations, beliefs, religions, cultural and social differences, nationalities, wounds of the past have been forgotten. We all had the same forceful step towards freedom and peace.
All of us were united with waves of applause, by the anthem, by the flag and the national motto of France : "liberty, Equality, Fraternity" A message that echoes indeed the motto of Europe "Unity in diversity" and the Council of Europe campaign "All different, all equal" !
Today, as governments or governed, we all need the courage of perpetuating this spontaneous impulse, this great hope in humanity, democracy and cohesion so as to give meaning to these demonstrations in the daily life of our democracies. Let us give substance to such a message at the Council of Europe and in each of our countries!
France just experienced dramatic events shared by the whole world. Let us wish a true capacity of dialogue and understanding among our populations throughout Europe.
The lessons of the Gwangzhou International urban Innovation Award on civil society participation in climate change programmes
Guangzhou, the third Chinese megalopolis, capital of Guangdong, became, for the second time,at the end of November, the world capital of the diffusion of urban exemplarity. The second edition of the International Award for Urban Innovation created by the city itself, in connection with Metropolis and UCLG and driven by Nicholas YOU, founder of the award, was, in fact, held in the vibrant metropolis of the Pearl River, China southern gateway located not far from Hong Kong and Macao. She put five finalists in the running after the review, late September, of 209 cases by a technical committee of international experts
During the final selection of 27 November 2014, mayors and project managers came to present their innovations to an audience mainly composed of elected officials, around four themes: the action of local authorities to the crisis, adapting and mitigating to climate change, changing minds for a change of the city and ways to empower actors.
The second series of the presentations, moderated by Anne-Marie CHAVANON, president of the committee, dealt with first order issues with the approach of the COP 21 to be held in Paris in December 2015. It brought together indeed Abu Dhabi, Gwangju, Hamburg and Melbourne with very different answers to three shared issues: how to save energy? How to reduce greenhouse gases? How to lower the temperature in dense urban areas?
Each project embodies the founding criteria of the Urban Innovation Award, including the pursuit of sustainable development through an integrated ecosystem approach, an absolute priority to social cohesion and well-being of citizens, the generation of a courageous participatory and innovative governance.
The most enlightening lessons of these projects concern the management team of public and private actors, the quality of the training provided as early as possible to a commitment of the communities, based on transparency of communication. Each offered a vision over a period of twenty to a hundred years, always accompanied by actions carried out by a strong political will.
Obviously, the number and quality of applications submitted, the presentation of the fifteen finalists and the selection of award winners (Antioquia, Bristol, Christchurch, Dakar and Hangzhou) showed that the price of Guangzhou had achieved its objectives: mobilizing five continents, making these editions a place of exchange and learning that goes beyond the recognition of good practice.
It shows the relevance of participatory democracy priority promoted by the Conference of INGOs code of good practice, the involvement of our committee various working groups and CEMAT chart on territorial democracy.
We all wish this award the development it deserves to stimulate innovation and provide vital answers to the challenges of the cities of the future!
Living together in multicultural societies : respect, dialogue, interaction