HELIOS Project: Pillar for the national migration policy
14 October 2020
The sensitization campaign and the new data for the inclusion and integration of the recognized refugees were presented in a joint press conference between the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, European Commission and IOM
The national sensitization campaign and the results of HELIOS integration project were presented today at a joint press conference of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration.
Having as a key message "We can give a lot to each other, especially our best selves", the goal of the campaign that is already on TV, radio, social media and websites, is to empower the messages of smooth integration and coexistence between recognized refugees and the Greek society, for the benefit of both sides.
The video, where starring both actors and recognized refugees – beneficiaries of the project, highlights the main pillars of HELIOS: accommodation support, Greek language courses and employability support.
From July 2019 up today, 18,947 recognized refugees have enrolled in the HELIOS project, while 6,115 of them have signed new lease agreements for apartments rented in their own name. It is worth to highlight that from June 2020 - after the decision for the exit of recognized refugees from the accommodation facilities - until 9 October, 4,428 beneficiaries of the project have been registered with new rental contracts.
The Minister for Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, pointed out the following:
"Through education and training, we equip recognized refugees with the necessary toolbox of skills and capabilities, so that they can get on their own feet and effectively integrate. Skills that will be useful for them, not limited in the Greek territory but also in the countries in which they wish to be relocate in the future. Social inclusion and employment integration must be seen as a ripe fruit stemming from the osmosis of ideas and actions implemented along with local communities. They cannot be the result of violent changes in the daily lives of local communities, nor can they be policies followed with a number of exceptions. "
In her speech respectively, Ms. Laura Corrado, Head of the Legal Pathways and Integration Unit of the European Commission said that “In the recently announced pact on Migration and Asylum, which was presented on the 23rd of September, integration of people legally staying in the EU - both beneficiaries of international protection but also other migrants who have legitimate reasons to be in the EU, for work, studies, family reunification - is really a crucial element in effective management of migration and asylum policies. It is also essential to ensure that people that are legally in our societies, they can participate, can contribute to the well-being of the society and it is also important to ensure the social cohesion. “
The Chief of IOM Mission in Greece, Mr. Gianluca Rocco stressed that "Migration is an element that can be used for the benefit of the ageing societies of many European countries, adding to the existing workforce and, thus, strengthening the economy. The HELIOS project is something more than an integration process. It is something that all European countries need. Although it started relatively recently, it is rapidly moving and produces results. We have evidence of people who are now living independently within the Greek society. I believe that the project is indicative of the good cooperation between the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration. It's a difficult endeavor. The fact that the Ministry supports the launch of the campaign demonstrably proves the Greek Government's commitment to the HELIOS project.”
Present at the Press Conference were the General Secretary of Migration Policy, Patroklos Georgiadis and Milan Colic Humljan, “HELIOS” Project Senior Coordinator on behalf of IOM Greece.
HELIOS project is implemented by the International Organization for Migration in cooperation with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and the funding of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG Home).
Video of the Press Release
Factsheet 2019-2020 https://greece.iom.int/el/helios-factsheet
Browsing apartments website https://www.heliospiti.com/
General information about the project https://greece.iom.int/el/hellenic-integration-support-beneficiaries-international-protection-helios