Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Diversity and integration

Citizenship and integration - 05.12.2007

The Hague Declaration on active citizenship and integration: The Hague Declaration on active citizenship and integration: a better cooperation is needed between all levels of governance
Representatives from European local and regional governments gathered in The Hague to discuss and exchange experiences on policies to promote active citizenship and social cohesion, on 28-29 November 2007.
 
The conference was organised by the Association of Netherlands municipalities (VNG) in cooperation with the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
 
One of the outcomes of the conference was the Declaration on the local and regional dimension of active citizenship and integration. Building on the CEMR declaration of Seville on the role of European local and regional governments in relation to migration (23 October 2006), The Hague declaration recognises the need to adopt integrated policies to ensure full participation and equal access for all to high quality services. Promoting equal opportunities for all can only be achieved through policies aimed to recognise all residents as active and full citizens.
 
The Declaration stresses that the local level plays a key role in facing the challenges related to integration. The Declaration therefore calls for a close and fruitful cooperation between the different levels of government, as well as for a better involvement of regional and local authorities in future EU initiatives, such as the creation of the European Forum on Integration.

In order to discharge their responsibilities for good local governance, local governments must have the necessary competences and financial resources to enable them to carry out their diversity policies and tasks effectively in relation to the successful integration.
 
Speaking at the conference, Jeremy Smith, secretary general of the CEMR, declared that it is clear migration and integration issues are moving up the European agenda.
 
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