Last Wednesday 15 June, a new edition of the "Group for Exchange and Support on Integration at Local level” (GRESIL) took place at the ierscher Kulturhaus.
Political leaders, municipal representatives and agents as well as members of the Consultative Municipal Commissions on Integration met face-to-face as well as by videoconference to discuss the topic "Citizen and political participation: raising awareness and motivating non-Luxembourgers to participate in the municipal elections of 11 June 2023. Let's discuss together awareness-raising actions in the municipalities". A total of 110 participants attended the event, representing 55 municipalities. In addition, integration advisors were present, as well as representatives from different ministries, the CNE and a number of associations working in the field of integration.
The session was opened by Michel Malherbe, mayor of the municipality of Mersch, who hosted the event at the Mierscher Kulturhaus. The Minister for Family and Integration, Corinne Cahen, and Emile Eicher, President of Syvicol, also welcomed the GRESIL participants. Conny Heuertz from the Department of Integration moderated the event.
After a brief introduction, a representative of CLAE emphasised the importance of associations in raising awareness among non-Luxembourg residents with a view to the forthcoming municipal elections. Then, a representative of CEFIS gave an overview of the registrations on the electoral lists for the 2017 municipal elections. The participants were also given explanations on the national campaign "I can vote" and the president of the inter-municipal syndicate canton of Redange and the mayor of the municipality of Mertzig presented concrete examples of actions and best practices in terms of citizen and political participation in their region.
During the second part of the GRESIL, the participants present in Mersch exchanged ideas around four thematic stands. These stands are intended to serve as a source of inspiration for municipal actors for their own awareness-raising actions to motivate non-Luxembourg residents to register on the electoral roll for the municipal elections in June 2023. Thus, the Zentrum für politesch Bildung (political education centre) guided people through its interactive exhibition "Den DemokratieLabo" and the ministry, with the help of the integration advisers, presented its information stand of the national campaign "I can vote" with its mini-bus. Two other stands were reserved for the associations ASTI and CLAE to present their initiatives and for the municipalities of Strassen and Dudelange, which explained their experiences with projects aimed at strengthening political participation at municipal level.
ASTI, Syvicol, CEFIS and the Department of Integration of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region, co-organisers of this event, would like to thank all those present for their active participation in this exchange and meeting platform.
Born in 2018 out of the strong interest and need of Luxembourg municipalities to network on issues related to integration and living together, the GRESIL, of which we count eight editions so far, offers municipalities a platform for gathering, exchanging, creating synergies, informing, training and supporting around integration issues at local level. The next GRESIL meeting is scheduled for the autumn. It will allow the municipalities to continue the exchange around the subjects of citizen and political participation and to develop their network of actors and communicate more about good practices in the field of living together.
A full recording of the first part of GRESIL 8, as well as all presentations on best practices presented, will be available shortly on the intergatioun.lu website under the link: integratioun.lu/gresil.
Press release by the Department of Integration of the Ministry for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, the Association de soutien aux travailleurs immigrés (ASTI), the Syndicat des villes et communes luxembourgeoises (Syvicol) and the Centre d'Etude et de Formation interculturelles et sociales (CEFIS)