Last week, two delegations from our new Greek members Apostolì and the Greek Evangelical Church came to Brussels for an intense two-day study visit. The study visit focused on “The integration of migrants and protection of unaccompanied children: challenges and opportunities for diaconal organisations in Europe.”
On the first day of their visit, the participants could learn more about our network as well as our work on advocating for migrants’ integration, also considering the ongoing developments related to the negotiations on the proposed post-2020 EU Budget. Then the group had the opportunity to meet Mr Giacomo Manca – Policy Officer from the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) – and to learn more about Funding opportunities for migrant inclusion projects.
Later that day, our group met Ms Fanni Bihari, Policy Officer for ACT Alliance EU, who presented their work and the development agencies’ work on migration and refugees. In the afternoon, the participants had the opportunity to share their sound experience in working with migrants and refugees in Greece with Ms Marta Kuljon and Ms Isabela Atanasiu, Policy Officers from the European Commission Directorates General on Justice and on Home Affairs. The participants were given a presentation on the Commission’s initiatives on the protection of migrant children.
On the second day of study visit, the participants visited the Permanent Representation of Greece to the EU and met the First Counsellor Ms Aliki Koutsomitopoulou and the Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor Ms Sevasti Trepa, learning more about the PermRep advocacy work towards the EU institutions, with a particular focus on migration and home affairs in Greece.
Before leaving Brussels, the participants were received at the European Parliament by Mr. Brando Benifei MEP, member of the EP Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Mr. Miltiadis Kyrkos MEP, Vice-Chair of Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee and Substitute of Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The participants had a fruitful conversation on the integration of migrants in Europe and on the latest policy developments at EU level such as the reform of the Asylum System and the recent EP Committee vote on the European Social Fund+.
Apostoli and Perichoresis are Greek not for profit organisations active in Athens and in Macedonia and Attica regions in the field of migrants’ integration, elderly, disadvantaged and unaccompanied children, and food and medicine banks. They currently employ 300 social workers and about 1,600 volunteers altogether. To know more about our new Finnish member, please visit Apostoli and Perichoresis websites.