Moment from the Press Conference
European and Greek stakeholders examined the integration of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in light of the ongoing negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 – 2027.
Athens, 28 February 2020
The conference “Securing EU Funding for Integration for the programming period 2021 – 2027” that took place, yesterday, at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute, was organized by Solidarity Now and the initiative was seized by the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM). Greek Forum of Refugees took part along with the Generation 2.0 Rights, Equality and Diversity and Terres des Hommes Hellas.
The conference focused on three main aspects of integration: employability, housing and education, with the aim of exploring ways to ensure that national programs meet the real needs of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants given. There is an urgent need for an improved framework and a better control mechanism for the use of European funds related to the refugees’ and migrants’ integration in Greece. Members of the Greek Forum of Refugees’ Self – Advocacy Team participated actively in the round table discussions, as well as members of the refugee and migrant communities in Athens.
Mr Sagare, Vice – President at the Greek Forum of Refugees, President of the Ivorian community in Greece, took part in the round table concerning education
During the meeting and the thorough discussions, representatives from the Greek national and local authorities, European Institutions such as the European Commission and the European Social Fund + (ESF + ), civil society actors and international non – governmental organizations made policy recommendations for the next funding period, set priorities and exchanged practices that can fill in existing gaps. Participants, also, discussed ways to improve cooperation between relevant stakeholders and agreed, among other things, on the following steps:
- The need for long – term planning and allocation of adequate funding for concrete integration activities in accordance to an overall strategy that guarantees complementarity of actions;
- Better coordination between authorities and collaboration between the Government, Non Governmental Organizations and other relevant stakeholders
The Director at the Greek Forum of Refugees, Mr Yonous Muhammadi made the following statement regarding the conference:
” We must address to the problem as a challenge, which concerns the whole Greek society. The funding and the financial actions must focus on a structural improvement and not only on short term issues regarding the immediate needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The strategy must be common and should aim at integrating and including the people into the Greek and the European society. The cooperation among the national authorities, the European Institutions, the Civil Society Organizations, with the contribution of the refugee and migrant communities in the public discourse, is essential to effectively confront the challenges. The issues of accessibility into housing, education and the labor market, are issues that concern us all.”