Greece - Civic School of Political Studies in Greece (2014)

In 2014, the Thessaloniki School of Political studies joined the network of Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies. The School offers high-quality training to new generations of political and civil society leaders in Greece with a view to engaging in critical discussion, documentation and analysis, fostering exchange of ideas and information and stimulating co-operation and dialogue amongst civil society, political parties and the media.

Civic School of Political Studies
c/o Symßiosis
Ptolemaion 29A
54630 Thessaloniki
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Director: Despina SYRRI
Despina Syrri Greece


“Based on the premise that there is no one right way to educate for democratic leadership, but understanding that democratising the educational process is important, the Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece aims to foster democratic governance and participation in public debate by promoting democratic political culture, civic participation, free media, and by giving a voice to those marginalized or unheard. It seeks to further research and the implementation of knowledge.”

Despina SYRRI, Director


About the School

The Civic School of Political Studies provides training on the basis of annual cycles with the core focus on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, with the participation of national and international experts. Selected participants attend the annual Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy, as well as a range of multilateral and bilateral meetings, events and networking. Symβiosis has already built a strong cooperation with Schools in Turkey, the Balkans, while there is growing collaboration with Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and the Southern Mediterranean.

Recent seminar themes have included:

    ·    Discrimination and social cohesion in Greece

    ·    The rise of xenophobic parties and elections in Europe

    ·    Challenges of democratic participation and representation in Greece

    ·    Reception and integration of refugees

    ·    Safeguarding fundamental rights in the midst of increasing migratory flows

    ·    Media freedom and human rights.

For more information about the programme, please contact the School directly.

About the Director

Despina Syrri has been the Director of the Civic School of Political Studies in Greece since 2014 and is a member of the Thessaloniki Migrants' Integration Council. Previously, she was a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies as well as Director of Research and International Cooperation at the Immigration Policy Institute in Greece. She has worked with news agencies such as Reuters and Athens News, as well as with several research institutes, including the South East Europe Research Centre, the Berlin Migration Netzwerk, the British Council, the Refugee Studies Centre and the EastWest Institute, on issues of post-conflict development, migration, refugees, borders and the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union. Despina Syrri has collaborated with International Organisations on projects such as the Council of Europe’s Stability Pact for South East Europe; election observation and human rights missions with the OSCE; and research on detention centres at the Greek-Turkish borders with the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. She taught Political Science and Political Anthropology at the American College of Thessaloniki, and is currently involved in developing post-graduate degrees at EU level on Humanitarian Action (EUPHRA EC project). She has published journal articles and book chapters in Greek, South Slavic and English, and authored various research papers and documentaries.