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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2020
 E-002745/2019
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002745/2019

The Commission monitors closely the situation on the Greek islands. Since 2015, the Commission, in cooperation with EU Agencies has provided operational, technical and financial support to Greece, the latter amounting to EUR 2.2 billion(1), to ensure effective migration management, including the management of the hotspots, and to improve the situation on the islands in full respect of human rights. As part of the operational support, the Commission has deployed permanent staff on each of the five hotspot islands, who are in direct contact with the Reception and Identification Centres’ (RIC) managers and staff. However, the overall responsibility for managing migration flows in Greece rests with the Greek administration.

The Commission is in continuous dialogue with the Greek authorities to identify the best ways to establish additional shelter places suitable for minors, and to ensure that children are urgently moved to safe zones and to adequate facilities. The Commission’s support covers the funding of additional safe zones in the RICs, the improvement of reception conditions on the islands, the creation of a new RIC on Samos that will replace the previous one, the speeding up of asylum and return procedures and transfers to the mainland, in full respect of the fundamental rights of the migrants in all steps of the procedures. In addition, the Commission funds accommodation schemes and provides apartments and adequate shelters on all islands for most vulnerable cases. Child protection officers are also present on all hotspot islands.

(1)Latest factsheet on EU Financial Support to Greece: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information_en
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