During the last two years, Europe and particularly Greece have faced the largest refugee and migrant flows in their recent history. The need to integrate Third County Nationals (TCN) into society and promote their active participation into the aspects of society covering the educational, social, labour and health sector, becomes more urgent than ever. The aim of this project is moving toward that direction by creating a platform, whereby consultations between players from local society and TCNs will take place. Via this platform, both groups will have the chance to exchange opinions, share experiences and practices which will promote the establishment of strong relationships and boosting of common activities and at the same time they will become a voice into the “Immigrant Integration Councils” which have been already established and operate since 2010 in Greece. The project has chosen the city of Thessaloniki to implement its actions because a large number of Third Country Nationals can be found in Northern Greece and especially in and around the city of Thessaloniki. It is worth noting that prior to the establishment of this platform, necessary capacity building activities, such as trainings and workshops targeting TCNs and local stakeholders (frontline practitioners, hospital staff and teachers), will take place as well as dissemination actions, so as to prepare the ground for a fruitful cooperation between all involved stakeholders.
The general objective of the project is to promote the active participation of TCNs in important aspects of local community and societal life. The expected impact of the actions implemented by the project is to effectively address the ongoing socio-economic disadvantages third-country nationals often face while living in the host society, and ultimately reduce the existing disparities between locals and migrant populations and contribute to the making of an inclusive and cohesive society.
The creation of cooperation networks at the local community-level, where collaboration and reciprocity between the involved stakeholders will be accomplished, will play a pivotal role first in ensuring a smooth integration process and ultimately in attaining the long-term impact of the actions undertaken.
More specifically, the LION Project will meet the following operational objectives:
- Develop the preconditions for mutual understanding and trust and form the basis for shared responsibilities through the implementation of a series of workshops and trainings;