Good Relations project promotes good ethnic relations

Ministry of the Interior 6.2.2013 14.41
News item

The Ministry of the Interior is carrying out an international project entitled 'Good Relations'. The aim of this project is to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Gypsyism and related forms of intolerance by promoting good relations between people from different ethnic backgrounds. Project Manager Liisa Männistö tells more about the project.

"There has been much discussion, both in Finland and at EU level, about 'good ethnic relations', but so far no definition has been provided of what is meant by them and how they are measured or monitored," says Ms Männistö. With this in mind, the project aims to provide a definition of 'good ethnic relations', to produce a set of indicators of good ethnic relations, to test them and to provide information and results on them at the national and EU level.

National and EU-level objectives

A number of national and EU-level objectives have been set for the project. One of the national objectives is to collect information at the local level about good relations in different areas of life in Finland and Sweden. Another aim is to test methods and tools that could be used to promote good ethnic relations and combat racism and discrimination at the local level.

Information collected at the local level will be analysed in collaboration with international partners, and on the basis of this work, the project will produce a set of measurable indicators of good relations that can be utilised in all EU countries.

In addition to indicators, a practical guide to promoting good relations will be produced for local-level actors, such as municipal employees, public authorities and teachers. A framework document for good relations will also be drawn up as one of the outcomes of the project.

Work has got off to a good start

"The work has got off to a good start; a meeting to kick off the project was held in Helsinki last December, and since then, we have kept in close contact with our project partners regarding the practicalities of the project. We have also discussed the implementation of the project with our national partners, and discussions with the member organisations of regional Advisory Boards for Ethnic Relations (ETNOs) are underway to collect information at the local level. The member organisations of regional ETNOs will play a significant role in implementing the national measures set out in the project," Ms Männistö says.

Wide network of partners

The Ministry of the Interior coordinates the project. The international partners involved in the project are the Swedish Ministry of Employment and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM). The Finnish partners include the national Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO) and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Uusimaa, Pirkanmaa and Southwest Finland. The project also collaborates with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The following have also been invited to the national working group: the regional ETNOs for South Finland, Pirkanmaa and Central Finland, and Western Finland; the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities; City-Sámit ry (an organisation for Saami people living in the Helsinki region); and the Regional Advisory Board on Romani Affairs for Southern Finland.

Website of the Good Relations project

For further information about the project, please contact Ms Liisa Männistö, Project Manager, tel. +358 71 878 8296, or Ms Hitomi Tabuchi, Programme Coordinator, tel. +358 71 878 8288.