TCAU – Recommendations to reducing stigma in Europe

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The Citizens Are United (TCAU) is a project funded with the support of the “Europe for Citizens” programme of the European Union, and is carried out between January 2018 and June 2019. The project is led by Cross Culture International Foundation (Malta), in partnership with Association for Development, Education and Labour (Slovakia), Associatia Be Inclusive (Romania), Cross Culture International Foundation (Cyprus), Check-In (Portugal), SFERA (North Macedonia), Associazione Interculturale NUR (Italy), Association European Project in Bulgaria (Bulgaria), Wezesha (Ireland) and InterAlia (Greece).

The aim of this project is to engage EU citizens on the stigmatization of immigrants with a view to encourage civic participation, promote tolerance and understanding. The Citizens Are United, is a follow up to 2016’s successfully implemented project – “The Citizens are Speaking”, where the issue of stigma was first raised by the third-country nationals (TCNs) themselves during implementation. This project aspires to address the gap within the EU’s integration policy, most specifically the rise in stigmatization of TCNs that has only increased along the years; and the promotion of opportunities for inter-cultural engagement and volunteering at a Union level. Stigma represents a mark of degradation associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person and determines actions like social exclusion, isolation, exploitation, bullying, discrimination, reduced opportunities. Stigmatization not only refers to personal characteristics or limitations, but also to group/cultural/ religious/ racial/ethnic identity. As a result of this project, we believe that there will be change in attitudes when dealing with TCNs and there will be more active involvement of policy makers at all levels to spearhead policy changes, to have standardized procedures throughout EU Member States on how certain issues are handled.

The project included volunteering activities, intercultural dialogues tackling various issues affecting TCNs and three conferences having workshops and discourse on topics discussed in: “Communication paper on European Agenda for integration of TCNs”; “Commission Staff working paper on EU initiatives supporting the integration of TCNs”; “European Agenda for Migration”; and “Handbook on Integration for policy-makers and practitioners”.

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