About Athens Coordination Center
Since the beginning of 2015, with Greece’s unprecedented number of migrant and refugee arrivals fleeing conflict, the City of Athens has increasingly adopted a proactive approach towards developing strategies to address the needs of these vulnerable populations. In this context, the City of Athens undertook the initiative to establish the Athens Coordination Center for Migrant and Refugee issues (ACCMR). The initiative aims at the efficient coordination between the municipal authorities and stakeholders operating within the city, such as national and international NGOs, international organizations, and migrant and refugee community groups. Our goal is to shape the necessary conditions for the smooth integration of migrants and refugees currently living in the city of Athens, but also for dealing with emergency situations linked with future migration flows.
The Athens Coordination Center for Migrant and Refugee issues (ACCMR) has been operating since June 2017 with Stavros Niarchos Foundation as founding donor and with the coordination of the Athens Partnership, under the Vice – Mayor’s Office for Migrants and Refugees.
What we want to achieve
The ACCMR functions as a coordination hub for the fruitful exchange of good practices and know-how between local and international NGOs, international organizations and municipal bodies on issues ranging from temporary accommodation to integration of newcomers. The Center aims mainly to encourage the deveopment and implementation of innovative tools and initiatives which promote integration, while also liaising with potential donors for funding. The ACCMR has developed a Strategic Action Plan for the smooth integration of migrants and refugees in the city. Importantly, ACCMR in collaboration with key stakeholders has produced the first Guide for the development of a 'Preparedness and Response Mechanism for effective contingency planning in the event of refugee-related emergencies in Athens'. The Center is liaising with other municipalities in order to exchange and transfer know-how and experience.
How we work
ACCMR’s operation is organized around 6 Working Committees with the participation of both municipal and other actors involved in the provision of services to migrants and refugees, each focusing on a specific set of services (housing, employment, health, education, legal support, gender aspects), and all working towards defining a comprehensive service delivery system that takes into consideration the short-term and long-term goals of integration. The Center currently counts more than 90 members, while over 200 representatives of the members are actively involved in ACCMR’s operations.
Athens Observatory on Migrant and Refugee issues (AORI)
AORI is a pilot research project aimed at helping the Municipality and other actors involved in the handling of the refugee and migration issue, to develop appropriate policies and initiatives.
In the period October 2016 – January 2017, AORI in collaboration with the opinion polling company "Public Issue," conducted a research, combining field surveys in the reception center of Elaionas and in temporary housing apartments in Athens, and public opinion telephone surveys. This research offers important insights on the situation of the refugee/immigrant population as well as on existing possibilities for their inclusion and integration.
Our tools at your disposal
The Digital Platform
The ACCMR digital platform enables its members to map their services and activities, with a view to including all initiatives taking place in the broad Athens area in relation to refugees and migrants. The online platform will work towards informing organizations operating in Athens and their professional staff on services and activities and thus facilitate their cooperation. In addition, the Platform enables the organizations to connect with individuals, businesses and other actors who want to support them.
The ACCMR Hub
ACCMR functions as a meeting point and a co-working space with 11 computers available to interested groups.