The Athens Coordination Center for Migrants and Refugee issues (ACCMR) operates as a coordination hub for the development and exchange of good practices and know-how between the Municipality of Athens and local and international NGOs, international organizations, institutions. The central goal of the ACCMR, which has 100 members, is the best connection and cooperation between institutions and the Municipality of Athens in order to promote the integration of immigrants and refugees at the local level, to ensure social cohesion and to prevent future crises.
Today, integration is now a central challenge for the Municipality of Athens, which works for a city that is inclusive and sustainable for all its inhabitants, while it is widely recognized that the integration of immigrants and refugees requires a multifaceted approach, the involvement of different actors and coordinated actions.
The Coordination Center is the place where the departments of the Municipality meet with all these different bodies and exchange experience, information, good practices and develop synergies for the benefit of social inclusion and cohesion.
The ACCMR has received international recognition as an innovative and effective coordination mechanism that supports local government in policy making. Indicatively, it has been distinguished as a good practice by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, the Network of large European cities “EUROCITIES”, the International Organization for Migration in Belgium, which was even used to design the new employer-employee network Brussels area.
The 6 ACCMR Working Committees meet once a month, in the current term, online due to the conditions of COVID-19. During the meetings, representatives of ACCMR member bodies exchange information on the provision of services and programs, identify gaps and needs, plan and organize initiatives that promote integration in the city, develop policy improvement proposals and provide useful information to the Municipality for the development of actions.
The Forum meets with the participation of all ACCMR member bodies and the competent elected representatives of the Municipality of Athens with the aim of informing and defining next steps.
* ACCMR was established in June 2017 with a founding donor the Stavros Niarchos Foundation under the coordination of Athens Partnership and operates within the action of the Department of Support and Social Integration of Immigrants and Refugees of the Social Solidarity Directorate of the Municipality of Athens. Since April 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration have been supporting the ACCMR’s work on a tripartite basis with the Municipality of Athens. The ACCMR operates within the Department of Support and Social Integration of Immigrants and Refugees of the Directorate of Social Solidarity of the Municipality of Athens.