Profile and activities

Patras is a harbor city inhabited by 200,000 people. About 22,000 migrants of different countries live in the city and its suburbs.  It is inhabited by various types of population with different origins, languages, religions and cultures. Knowing all these groups of population is of vital importance for organizing a friendly living environment for all.

The citizens of Patras, by living in a harbor city, are used for foreigners being part of their community for a long time. Patras has always been the gate of Greece to the West and learnt that being a port is not just a part of a city’s layout but it is mainly a way of communicating messages with all over the world. The city’s modernity has emerged from the coexistence and encounter of different cultures and mindsets during its long lasting history

The city of Patras during its recent history is a result of a continuous mix of populations.  In 1922, refugees from Asia found shelter in the city. After the first and second world wars, many Italians stayed in Patras, got married and had families. Until today, families of Italian origin are very active in the city and operate their own Catholic church. The English community has an active role in Patras as well. The University of Patras is regarded as one of the best in Greece and attracts many students from other countries especially from the Mediterranean area. More precisely, groups have formed such as of African Students, of Students from Cyprus etc. Furthermore, the University is a favorite place for the operation of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) of students acting at the European level (e.g. BEST, AEGEE), linking various universities together and hosting missions of foreign students.

In addition, within the last 20 years, Patras is a living place for many people from the Balkans such as Albanians, Romanians, Bulgarians as well as people from the East such as Chinese and Indians. All of them have been incorporated in society and their children attend public schools.

Furthermore, there are about 2.500 Roma in the city. Efforts have been made to integrate them in urban social context and culture (counseling services, adult education programs, Health provision programs etc).

Many associations of migrants have been formed and participate in decision-making processes through “Patras Council for the Inclusion of Migrants-CIM”.

There is a strong involvement of the city of Patras in “Intercultural Cities – ICC” managed by the Council of Europe. Patras has greatly benefited being an active ICC member, since 2008 and the core-city in Greece.



2nd C4i visit to Patras: project sustainability through political shifts

headline Patras, Greece 10 October 2014
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2nd C4i visit to Patras: project sustainability through political shifts

On 10 October 2014, Patras welcomed the second C4i visit by Sean O’Siochru, C4i evaluation consultant, and Christina Baglai, C4i project manager. The visit took place in a context of political shifts, after the May 2014 municipal elections, which brought about a change in political orientation and the replacement of the C4i city representative.

Konstantinos Apostolopoulos, Patras C4i coordinator, acknowledged that the main C4i partnerships, specifically the municipal Office of Volunteerism and the Council of Immigrants, had been affected by the political shifts. In this context the support of new C4i city representative Basilis Thomopoulos, newly appointed President of the Cultural Organisation, became critical to ensure the sustainability of the project in Patras.

During the visit, the C4i evaluator and project manager met the President of the Cultural Organisation and the local C4i team. The importance of the project to the city with around 8 per cent of population with a migrant background, mostly Albanian, and high transit migration, as well as political and economic challenges were central to the discussion. Developing partnerships with intercultural mediators, lawyers, the media and the municipal theatre featuring true stories of migrant women was enphasised. Meeting future anti-rumour trainers permitted to re-orient the targets of Patras’ anti-rumour campaign, with potential focus on the media through lawyers’ participation.

general information

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