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Parliamentary questions
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18 September 2018
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002545/2018

The Commission and EU agencies are monitoring very closely the situation and the increased pressure on the land border between Greece and Turkey. Irregular crossings from Turkey into Greece in the first four months of 2018 were nine times higher compared to the same period in 2017, confirming the trend that began at the end of 2017. However, arrivals have been decreasing since May 2018 following enhanced cooperation between Turkey and Greece.

The EU-Turkey Statement provides that Turkey will take any necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for illegal migration opening from Turkey to the EU, and will cooperate with neighbouring states as well as the EU to this effect.

The Commission stands ready to assist the Greek authorities with the financial means to implement a coherent strategy to reinforce the northern land border. In this context, Greece has committed to upgrade Fylakio under the Internal Security Fund national programme.

The European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Agency is already deploying in the framework of successive joint operations EBCG teams both at the external land and sea borders of Greece and stands ready to reinforce its presence and step up joint operations in view of stemming irregular entries and subsequent secondary movements.

Looking ahead, the Commission has proposed a further strengthening of the Agency, as set out in its communication of 2 May 2018(1).

The Commission is also funding the EU’s humanitarian partners active in Greece to provide additional reception capacity, including short-term emergency solutions and extension of existing sites.

The Commission will continue assisting the Greek authorities in managing the migration-related challenges, both financially and operationally (2).

(1)COM (2018) 321 final.
(2)Progress Report on the implementation of the European Agenda on Migration of 16 May 2018‐ COM(2018) 301 final.

Last updated: 19 September 2018Legal notice