Migration flows and integration policies
Data evidence and best practices in the EU


Athens, Greece

Electra Metropolis Hotel

21 November 2018 to 22 November 2018

Mitropoleos 15
10557 Athens

The ESPON-Interact Conference “Migration flows and integration policies - Data evidence and best practices in the EU” took place in Athens, Greece, on the 22-23rd of November.

After the massive migration crisis of 2015, now southern European countries have to deal with the medium to long-term challenge of integration. As Professor Bianchini from the University of Bologna noted, we need “Long-term policies for long-term issues, as migration is not an emergency but a global fact”.

The policy questions now are how to put in place mechanisms for multi-level governance and to build the bridge between national governments – responsible for regulations such as the Greek ‘National Strategy for Integration of Third-Country Nationals (TCN)’ – and the flexibility of local bottom-up approaches and concrete actions. Further attention to vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied minors (UAM) and the improvement of relocation schemes with more focus and a better understanding of the absorption capacity of regions (public support, demographic trends and employment patterns) is needed.

While there are no ‘one size fits all’ solution for integration, a multi-level and cross-sectoral approach is needed – combining housing, education, health and more actions for matching skills with job opportunities. More comparative data on regions and with a strong emphasis on the city-level – as cities are magnets for integration – is needed and this is where ESPON can provide territorial evidence.

More actions are also needed on developing more positive narratives – promoting migration not as a threat but rather an opportunity – as migrants will certainly be needed in some work sectors as the European Economic and Social Committee member on the final conference panel pointed out.

While there are variety of programmes and organisations dealing with migration, more effort is needed to engage and involve migrants in programmes available instead of them being seen as passive recipients. There is also the need to counteract the risk of ‘inertia’ from both refugees and municipalities. There is now considerable efforts to support municipalities and instill a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Migration is a key aspect for territorial cohesion and requires a better understanding of the flows for more focused place-based approaches.

Future research should involve a better understanding of the ‘value chain’ from reception to integration and requires more data and evidence such as employment patterns, demographic changes, economic transformation and skills/re-skilling – not only applicable to migrants but to all citizens across Europe.


Transnational Observation - Refugee and asylum seeker flows (EN)

  • Acrobat Document | 1.30MB

Transnational Observation - Ροές προσφύγων και αιτούντων άσυλο

  • Acrobat Document | 1.25MB

ESPON Interact Conference Migration Athens Nov 2018 - Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.29MB

ESPON Interact Programme Athens

  • Acrobat Document | 438KB

Introduction - Maria Nikolstsiou

  • Powerpoint Presentation | 104KB

ESPON introduction - Dr Laurent Frideres, ESPON EGTC

  • Acrobat Document | 625KB

Ministry of Migration Policy RIS (Greece) - Mr D Mermiris

  • Acrobat Document | 527KB

ESPON MIGRARE - Laura Todaro

  • Acrobat Document | 1.48MB

Territorial and Urban Potentials - Dr Marco Zoppi, Prof Stefano Bianchini

  • Acrobat Document | 1.88MB

NADINE - Dr Elissavet Lykogianni

  • Acrobat Document | 932KB

Best practices in Sicily - Roberta Lo Bianco (CESIE)

  • Acrobat Document | 4.86MB

Strenghtening Municipal Structures - Konstantinos Kousaxidis (IOM)

  • Acrobat Document | 343KB

Social Integration Athens - Lefteris Papayannakis (Deputy Mayor of Athens)

  • Acrobat Document | 160KB

UIA Curing the Limbo (Athens) - Amalia Zepou

  • Acrobat Document | 3.35MB

Local dimension of integration policies - Vitsentzatos Nassos (Greek)

  • Acrobat Document | 3.19MB

Housing Experience ESTIA (Livadia) - Giota Poulou

  • Acrobat Document | 1.22MB

Urban Agenda for the EU - Panagiotis Exarchos

  • Acrobat Document | 970KB

Caritas - Maria Koutatzi

  • Acrobat Document | 475KB

Interact - Tomasz Petrykowski

  • Acrobat Document | 1.13MB

DG HOME EU Integration Policy - Evangelista Georgitsi

  • Acrobat Document | 459KB

DG Regio Post2020 - Maria Soumela

  • Acrobat Document | 427KB

EC Joint Reserch Centre - Michele Vespe

  • Acrobat Document | 2.43MB

Testimony Mr Abou Tagourla (Mauritania - France)

  • Acrobat Document | 869KB

Interreg MED PANORAMED Project - Michele Colavito (Italy)

  • Acrobat Document | 758KB

Interreg Danube DRIM Project - Sanja Krilic

  • Acrobat Document | 1.47MB

URBACT Arrival Cities Network - Laura Colini

  • Acrobat Document | 2.90MB

Panel Discussion - Besiana Ninka

  • Acrobat Document | 300KB