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Integration beyond formalities: What makes a host country feel like home?

This year’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), taking place from the 9 to the 17 of September 2023, offers, among other things, a venue to directly approach those most concerned by integration policies and discuss how a host country can start to feel like home. For its 87th edition, under the theme ‘European Model of Sports – Sports for All,’ this major annual trade fair hosted a series of events on integration organised by the European Commission.

More specifically, on the 13 of September the European Commission’s Task Force Migration Management hosted a panel discussion, titled “Building Bridges! Inspiring Stories of successful Integration in Greece”, on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection. During this discussion, the Greek Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum in charge of Integration, Sofia Voultepsi, resumed her previous function as a journalist and interviewed two recognised refugees. Together, they delved into their personal experiences and the efforts required to achieve complete integration in Greece and truly embrace the country as their own.

Another event took place, titled “Beyond Formal Steps: What it takes to feel Greece like Home”. The representatives from various sectors, including government, private sector, education, local authorities, and civil society, participated in the event. Finally, on the 14 of September the Task Force Migration Management hosted a dynamic panel discussion on “Global Migration – Challenges and Opportunities for Greece”, featuring experts and key players in the field of migration. They explored the unique challenges that global migration poses to Greece and exchanged on strategies for effectively addressing them.

As emphasised in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, successful integration is key to an effective migration and asylum policy. It is also essential for social cohesion and for a dynamic economy that works for all. This was clearly illustrated by more than 50 concrete actions implemented by the EU to support Member States and other key stakeholders, focusing on education, employment and vocational training, access to basic services, active participation, and social inclusion. In many Member States, this has contributed to the development or reviewal of national integration strategies and has further enhanced the use of funding for integration.

Find out more on how the European Commission supports Greece in managing migration and ensuring the integration of third-country nationals.

Link:, dated September 14, 2023 2:59 pm

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