The municipal administration does not view the migrant issue as a problem but rather a reality which can bring about myriad positive consequences for society as a whole.
Based on the 2001 Census, foreigners comprise 22 percent of the total population of the City of Athens documented in the survey.
The City of Athens has taken the initiative, adopting policies and implementing programmes which reinforce social cohesion, support harmonious co-existence and promote the integration of migrants.
Athens, like other cities in Greece and other European Union countries, is being called on to deal with an interesting paradox: although migration policies are decided on at the central government or EU level, ultimately local communities are being summoned to enforce integration policies on a small scale. Resources for the introduction of such policies are, in most cases, available to the central government, which decides on their allocation.
The City of Athens has accepted this challenge and adopted a framework of philosophy and action for the integration of migrants and their families who have chosen to live in Athens.
The framework is based on two principles:
The City of Athens works in two ways:
Our vision for migrants
We are creating an Athens in which Greek society ties in harmoniously with migrant communities, a city where our children speak the same language, the language of understanding and common goals.
We are transforming Athens into a global multicultural metropolis.
We are developing initiatives that deal with diversity in such a way that it: promotes the idea of cohesion, with respect for the values and achievements which unite citizens regardless of their ethnicity and cultural contribution; guarantees equal rights for migrants in terms of participation in social, political and economic life; and ensures that all migrants also consider Athens to be their city so they can respect it and build their future here.
We aim for the social integration of migrants based on respect for the law and fulfillment of their obligations to the city in which they live.