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Forum on Minorities and Diversity

The overarching objective of the Minorities and Diversity Forum (organised in cooperation with the King Baudouin Foundation) is to take stock of efforts being made to promote the inclusion in mainstream society of Europe’s minority communities.

In doing so, the Forum will continue the work of its predecessor at the EPC - the Muslims in Europe forum – by highlighting the key issues raised by Europe’s increasingly multicultural societies and suggesting some possible responses to these issues, as well as informing and educating Europeans on the challenges facing minorities in Europe. The Forum will thus promote the concept of active citizenship of minority members under which they recognise and fulfil their rights and obligations as Europeans.

To achieve the objectives outlined above, the Minorities and Diversity Forum will organise a range of events (conferences, seminars) and activities (commentaries, reposrt) around certain themes, some of which are very relevant to the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion e.g.
  • Europe’s multicultural cities – a study of minorities in Bradford, Amsterdam, Marseilles, Antwerp, etc.
  • Europe’s political representatives with minority backgrounds: the potential for a European Obama?
  • Xenophobia and nationalism in Europe: prevalent in local authorities?
The Forum is coordinated by Shada Islam, Senior Programme Executive.

The target public of the Forum’s events include top EU policymakers from all institutions as well member state missions, foreign embassies, business, non-governmental organisations and the media.

The Forum will also strive to include as many members of Europe’s minority communities as possible in its events, including among others the large but diverse Muslim populations that are established all over the continent but particularly France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. By involving grassroots associations such as Muslim women’s groups and Roma advocacy organisations for instance, the Forum will facilitate dialogue and encourage understanding among people from different multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith backgrounds.

It will also encourage the exchange of experience and information on best practice as regards intercultural inter-action, particularly with regards to the political and economic dimensions of societal integration.

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