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.



Patras C4i Launching Event

headline Patras Greece 12 June 2014
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Patras C4i Launching Event

The Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Patras in collaboration with the Vice Μunicipality of "Support of  Citizens, Volunteerism, Gender Equality & Inclusion of Migrants" and Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development – ADEP SA., organized the Launching Event for C4I project (Thursday 12th June 2014, 18.30) at the premises of the building for the sessions of Patras Municipal Council (old port).

The Launching Event was combined with the visit of representatives of the Council of Europe in Patras, specifically Mrs Gemma Pinyol and Mr Daniel de Torres, who presented the project and clarified questions. Patras study-visit by the representatives of CoE was combined with meetings with the President of the Cultural Organization Mr Nikolaos Kostopoulos, the Police Director of Achaia  Mr. Tsourdas and the Hellenic Police responsible for immigration matters Mr Michalopoulos.

Within this framework on Friday 13th June, they met at the Municipality Hall with Vice-Mayors of “Education, Transparency & Electronic Governance” MrAndreas Filias, “Economic Affairs” Mr Panagiotis Vafeas, “Administration and Communication” Mr Charalambos Stanitsas, “Health, Welfare & Social Policy” Mr Theocharis Massaras, “Support to Citizens, Volunteerism, Gender Equality & Inclusion of Migrants” Maria Andrikopoulou – Rouvali and Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning & Development – ADEP SA.

The Launching Event was attended by representatives of local authorities, police, NGOs, representatives of civil society and voluntary organizations, as well as employees of the Municipality of Patras (its organisations, enterprises and services-units). More specifically, C4i project was presented, its objectives were analyzed, putting emphasis in the methodology used in the city of Barcelona, to combat unfounded (but widespread) rumors about immigrants. Various questions were raised, views were exchanged in relation to the project and different ideas were discussed within the various working groups.

Beasides ths speeches by the two representatives of the Council of Europe, the President of the Cultural Organization Mr N. Kostopoulos, the respective Vice Mayor of "Support of  Citizens, Volunteerism, Gender Equality & Inclusion of Migrants" Mrs Maria Andrikopoulou – Rouvali and members of the C4I core team, have analyzed the local concept and the view of Patras Municipality, making the link with the activation of Patras in “Intercultural Cities” network of CoE and the intercultural strategy of the city.

The Cultural Organization of the Municipality of Patras is the partner in “Communication for  integration - social networking for diversity (C4I)” project that aims to create social networks and public awareness on immigration and diversity, combating unfounded rumors that undermine integration strategies at the local level.
The C4i activation of Patras includes among other cultural actions, training, surveys, website creation, aiming to raise awareness of intercultural society and social cohesion.

The project is funded by the European Commission / (DG HOME / Grants HOME/2012-13/CA/CFP/EIF under "European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals" 2012-2013) and the Council of Europe (which is the coordinator at the same). All partner cities of C4I project are members of “Intercultural Cities” network of CoE. This is regarded as an excellent platform for exchange of experiences and difusion of results. Patras intends to fully exploit this combination for the benefit of its citizens.

general information

patras on the map