CCME: New research on tolerance, pluralism and social cohesion in Europe

by zoejardiniere

08.03.2013. The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) presented the results of their European Commission funded, three-year comparative research project on tolerance and pluralism across 14 EU Member States and Turkey.

The research develops a system of indicators by which to measure acceptance of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in each country; for example, when measuring local policies of exclusion of minorities and immigrants in public life, the indicators used include whether the need for a public place of worship is available, whether the special requirements of ethnic or religious business are provided for and whether there is access to local voting rights for non-nationals.

A key issue identified regards the large gap between legal provisions for the protection of minority rights and their practical application. One example of this can be seen in the area of ethnic discrimination and segregation in schools as despite legal provisions prohibiting such discrimination, cases remain where Roma children in particular continue to face obstacles to attending mainstream education in several of the studied countries.

The project has also produced comparative and individual national reports on school life,  examining the teaching of tolerance in the curriculum and the accommodation of diversity in school life, as well as reports on political life, looking at political discourses, policies of recognition of national minority groups, and minority mobilisation. Furthermore, the research has produced a handbook for teacher trainers, a toolkit on the system of tolerance indicators for the use of experts to continue research in other countries, and a conceptual report on the theories of toleration in Europe.

The States covered in the research were Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Ireland, Italy, Spain, UK, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Romania.