ROME, Jun 7, 2011 (IPS) – Urban centres, marked by globalisation, migration and the intermingling of culturally and ethnically diverse communities were among the major topics of the International Conference on the Inter-ethnic City held in Rome last week on the eve of the celebrations of Italy’s national day.

The necessity of preserving the roots and the cultures of immigrants – especially in big European cities – is crucial according to Emma Bonino, vice president of the Italian Senate. “The most common error in dealing with the interethnic issue of the contemporary big cities represents the illusion of assimilation,” Bonino said. “Expecting that those who arrive to our cities must become like us is an error.”

The European Union is expected to receive 30 million immigrants over the short term.

Sharing practical solutions to manage and promote integration and tolerance in multicultural and multiethnic societies, plus the rising incidence of ethnic stereotyping in major European cities were the driving forces behind the conference – organised for the first time in Europe.


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