United in Diversity: European Commissioner Vestager visits Mechelen

The European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, came to see how our Group President in the European Committee of the Regions and Mechelen Mayor Bart Somers has successfully built an inclusive society in a super diverse city. Both liberal politicians see successful integration in a diverse Europe as a key challenge which must be a priority for the next years and decades to come. Commissioner Vestager and Mr. Somers discussed integration and inclusion with several representatives of the social and city services, civil society, volunteers,… through concrete examples.


The full list of presentations:

Sahd Jaballah, coordinator of ROJM vzw, with a brief explanation of the operation of the youth house

GO-team – Mathias Vaes, head of the social service department, city of Mechelen, who detailed the work of social workers with vulnerable families living in alarming conditions.

Projectintegrate together” + testimony – Corinne Huybers, staff member diversity, city of Mechelen + testimony by participants about the buddy project where Mechelaars, someone who speaks Dutch very well and knows the city, are matched with “newcomers”.

 “Colour in youth work”- Kwinten Stevens, project coordinator, J@m vzw, guiding children with a foreign background to youth movements, starting a dialogue and creating networks

European projects (SIREE) – Nicole Laiacona, European subsidy advisor, city of Mechelen, describing projects of education and refugees and employment and refugees.

Welcome in Mechelen – a civil society organization for integration and refugees – Tjhoi Ng Sauw, initiator, Welcome in Mechelen vzw).


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