Intercultural integration is a term used to describe a situation when immigrants to a new country, while preserving their own cultural identity, create bonds and relations with receiving community – which is us, residents of Lublin – and participate in various areas of the city life on equal terms with other residents.
Accross Europe the importance of supporting migrants’ integration process on a local level is being underlined. Integration means both sides meeting on the way – both newcomers as well as the „old” residents of the city. It is important to make sure migrants have access to everything we use on everyday basis: work, education, legal support, possibility to learn a language, social relations, participation in civic and cultural life and others. Integration works both ways, even though the effort is not necessarily the same. In other words: one side needs to want to integrate, the other side needs to make sure they are able to do that.
It is important to create a system supporting both sides of the equation: migrants and foreigners (support with learning the language, grand tours around the city, supporting competences necessary to enter the labour market, legal support and others) as well as receiving community – building intercultural competences, counteracting discrimination, supporting a process of acknowledging migrants’ needs in all public tasks and services and others.
Lublin chose to work according to intercultural integration model of the Intercultural Cities Programme run by the Council of Europe. It has been recommended for implementation to the member states of the European Union as a model policy based on the fact that cities are laboratories of integration policies and have means to strenghten social cohesion. Recommended actions are: promoting interculturality of cities, buiding diverse identities of cities, adjusting public policies, services and institutions to meet the needs of migrants as well as including them into social life on various decision levels. Projects ‘Lublin for All‘ and ‘Communication for Integration‘ are parts of such actions on behalf of Municipality of Lublin.