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Parliamentary question - E-006264/2017(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission

A fully functioning EU asylum system is an indispensable part of the wider efforts to stabilise the asylum, migration and border policies and return to the normal functioning of the Schengen area.

Dublin transfers to Greece from other Member States have been suspended since 2011 following two judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union, which identified systemic deficiencies in the Greek asylum system. Since then, the Greek authorities, assisted by the Commission, the European Asylum Support Office, Member States and international and non-governmental organisations, have made efforts to improve the functioning of the asylum system and significant progress has been made in this respect.

In this context, the Commission recommended, in December 2016, a gradual, carefully-managed resumption of transfers of asylum applicants who have entered Greece irregularly from 15 March 2017 onwards or for whom Greece is responsible from 15 March 2017 under other Dublin criteria.

The resumption of transfers is recommended for a certain categories of migrants, excluding the transfer of vulnerable applicants.

Moreover, applicants should only be transferred if the Greek authorities can give individual assurances in each case that the applicant will be treated in accordance with EC law.

As regards the provisional accommodation and the reception and registration facilities, the Commission is supporting the Greek authorities to improve these by providing substantial funding, technical assistance and expertise. The Greek authorities, with the Commission's assistance, have been working on the winterisation of the reception centres in the islands, by extending/upgrading their capacity with new containers and adequate heating and electricity connections, as well as ensuring cleaning, sanitation and medical care.

Last updated: 7 June 2018
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