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08/01/2014 1 Final Conference Angeliki Sora Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration, Athens, Greece.

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Presentation on theme: "08/01/2014 1 Final Conference Angeliki Sora Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration, Athens, Greece."— Presentation transcript:

1 08/01/ Final Conference Angeliki Sora Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration, Athens, Greece

2 08/01/ Migration Management System in Greece Main bodies: Ministry of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation> the General Secretariat of Population & Social Cohesion which coordinates the DG Migration Policy and Social Integration and the Citizenship Directorate. Ministry of Citizen Protection (Public order)> Asylum Service which operates as a Directorate and has the mission of applying the legislation on asylum and other forms of international protection> grants the status of refugee to asylum seekers Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

3 08/01/ Migration Management System in Greece Other stakeholders: Decentralized administrations Greek Ombudsman Greek Courts Police authorities The Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) issuing social welfare benefits Social Security Organisations (IKA, OGA) The UN refugee Agency NGOs Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

4 08/01/ Organization of the Administration The administration of the State shall be organized according to the principle of decentralization. (article 101, Constitution) Administrative divisions 1st level municipalities (325) 2nd level regions (13) 3rd level decentralized administrations (7) Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

5 08/01/ Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference Decentralized administration –Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration responds to the requirements of territorial, social and economic cohesion and promotes the overall national competitiveness serves as a strong administrative unit which assists the decentralization of the state functions and promotes the efficient coordination of the development planning at the regional level. is responsible for decentralized services of ministries in the cases where this is considered appropriate is responsible for a series of actions: environmental policies, immigration policies, forestry policies, territorial planning.

6 08/01/ Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration As from 31/12/2013 > model of One-stop-shop> offering the third country nationals (TCNs) the convenience of obtaining their needs in one stop. to serve migrants in relation to residence permit, citizenship, and social integration issues to collaborate with the Ministry of Interior to serve as a model on the basis of a holistic approach toTCNs’ integration > it is expected to have a positive impact in terms of quality, sufficiency, promptness and sustainability of integration services and reduce the cost of the services provided to TCNs permits pending applications (according to the Ministry of Interior) Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

7 08/01/ Services Provided in Directorate of Foreigners and Immigration 50 categories of residence permits: residence permits for employment (dependant, seasonal, corporate), residence permits for independent economic activity, residence permits for special reasons (studies, acquisition of medical specialty, foreign press correspondents), residence permits for family reunification and long- term resident permits. Inform daily TCNs on issues related to immigration law, accept, examine, answer and classify applications, check the authenticity of foreign and Greek documents, archive documents, have knowledge of foreign laws, rules and of asylum procedures, contact via phone, fax and e-government tools with the National Courts and Police. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

8 08/01/ Civil servants' competencies: +knowledge in the areas of law, administration, constitution, IT, economics, organization, management, EU and national policies, international relations, history, communication, democracy etc +/- foreign languages (most of the civil servants in Greece speak English, some of them French, German, Italian or Spanish but almost no one speak Albanian, Russian, Chinese, Urdu). - intercultural competencies: tolerance, flexibility, awareness of one’s own cultural identity, openness for new experiences, considering opinions, ability to adapt to values of other people, ethical behaviour, patience, interpersonal skills, empathy Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

9 08/01/ Intercultural competencies for civil servants Being intercultural involves: questioning the taken-for-granted conventions within which one lives, seeking to empathise with the experience of others, reflecting on the impact of this upon oneself and one’s own identities. being able to put oneself in the position of others, recognizing those who have different opinions listening Overcoming stereotypes, differences and prejudices Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

10 08/01/ How can we introduce intercultural competencies in the education of civil servants? Courses can be provided from: National School of Public Administration and Local Government (ESDDA) is the national strategic agent for the development of the Human Resources of the Public Administration. The Institute of Training (INEP) trains both the newly appointed Public Sector’s employees and the already serving staff through specifically designed certified programs. Universities such as the Hellenic Open University (HOU) or the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA) through their distance learning programs. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

11 08/01/ The need of intercultural mediators is due to administration issues concerning public services towards TCNs the range of institutions involved in the integration process the lack of cooperation between government services and their dispersed locations the diversity of procedures or even the contradictory services the complex bureaucracy and the lack of coordination among diverse stakeholders the communication difficulties as a result of cultural and linguistic diversity Insufficient and sometimes contradictory information given Limited possibilities of intervention TCNs’ mistrust towards the services provided, due to previous negative experiences Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

12 08/01/ The role of intercultural mediator(I) The introduction of intercultural mediators would : facilitate communication between TCNs and civil servants reduce cultural misunderstandings promote non discriminatory access to public services provide interpretation and translation help the provision of services on an equal and non-discriminatory basis Offer legal advice : information about residence permit requirements Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

13 08/01/ The role of intercultural mediator (II) Potential contribution Since insufficient information increases TCNs’ distrust towards the host country and its services, intercultural mediators can contribute to minimizing this distrust. Intercultural mediators can contribute to the dissemination of a positive message to the host society in relation to TCNs and a positive image of the host country to the immigrant population Intercultural mediators can enhance a climate of cooperation and consultation between all the stakeholders: government, public services, NGOs, migrants’associations, employers, public. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

14 08/01/ The role of intercultural mediator (III) as merely service providers, by offering their expertise on the field (partnerships with NGOs) with an active participation in the design of services and the training of civil servants (organize seminars, courses, conferences, publish handbooks) Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

15 08/01/ Proposals The figure of Intercultural mediator must be established by law, which will define intercultural mediator’s competences and duties: To actively cooperate with all actors in social and educational intervention processes To facilitate communication between service-providers and users of different cultural origins To assist users in relations with public and private services and their employees To promote the inclusion of citizens from different social and cultural origins To respect the confidentiality of all information related to families and groups affected. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

16 08/01/ Proposals Administratively, the figure of intercultural mediator must be guaranteed through a protocol signed by the State or local authorities on the one hand, and associations, cooperatives on the other hand. Intercultural Mediators active in all social fields: schools, public administration services, healthcare system, legal system, police authorities. Intercultural Mediator as a widespread tool of integration and not only employed by NGOs. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference

17 08/01/ Conclusion The expansion of civil servants’ competencies on the basis of intercultural mediation would have a positive impact in terms of quality, sufficiency, promptness and sustainability of public services provided to TCNs. Public administration shall be eager to generalise the use of intercultural mediators on a more permanent basis in order to achieve simplification and acceleration of administrative procedures. It is time the public administration to use flexible methods to deal with a transforming and shifting phenomenon, namely the migration in Greece. Intercultural Mediation in Public Administration Final Conference


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