URGENT Final Conference- the beginning of a new path in creating inclusive cities
Between 30th of May and 1st of June, the URGENT project consortium met in Athens, Greece to share the results of the local activities and to conclude the project during the final conference “Reactivating European urban citizenship: a network of inclusive towns”.
During the last international seminar, the partners developed a city manifesto to build a common understanding about interculturalism, social inclusion, integration of migrants. The project results are to be valorised in a Handbook collecting the experiences of the enactment that overcome stereotypes about immigrants and build counter narratives. Equally, during the seminar, ALDA in cooperation with European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Amphictyony (EGTCA) and the Municipality of Agia Varvara, organised a half day conference where the project outcomes were presented to the local stakeholders, partners shared their pilot projects and a dedicated space for interaction and exchange of experience was provided during the URGENT Inclusion Fair.
The 35 international participants present at the conference had also the opportunity to learn about the Greek realities in regards to urban inclusion for newcomers and migrants. Mr. Georgios Alexopoulos, General Manager at Symplexis has shared with the public the challenges civils society organisations in Greece are facing, such as institutional barriers, financial or operational ones. Mrs Chrissa Geraga, Local coordinator for international city-networks from the municipality of Patras has shared their experience within the ARRIVAL CITIES EU project and Patras local action plan for migrants’ inclusion. Equally, Mr George Krikri, Vice-Mayor of the municipality Nea Smyrni has stressed their commitment in creating more inclusive urban spaces. The local reality and activities taking place in Athens were present also by Mrs Giouli Gonou from the Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government.
URGENT project is financed by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union. The programme offers multiple opportunities to both civil society organisations and local authorities to partner for European projects. Mr Antonios Karvounis, Europe for Citizens programme focal point in Greece has also shared with the participants during the conference the contribution of the programme to tackling the migration issue and the opportunities laying ahead.
The 3 days seminar concluded with a session on the future of the URGENT project where partners explored different funding opportunities to continue the work started.
URGENT: Urban Re-Generation: European Network of Towns project aims at promoting city-level and local awareness-raising about the urgent need for establishing new intercultural connections among inhabitants of marginalized multi-ethnic neighbourhoods/areas and population of central areas. Within the project we are particularly tackling the growing fear of immigration and debating on how to overcome related misleading stereotypes, which feed euroscepticism and undermine fragile European cohesion. More information about the local activities and project outcomes can be found on the project website.