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Parliamentary questions
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18 May 2020
E-003734/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003734/2019

In 2019, around 73 600 migrants arrived in Greece, compared to around 47 900 arrivals in 2018, and around 8 800 arrivals so far in 2020 (as of 22 March 2020). Currently, around 51 000 asylum-seekers are accommodated in the Greek reception system on the mainland and around 40 000 are present on the Aegean islands.

Between 20 March 2016 and 27 March 2020, 2 134 persons were forcibly returned to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Statement (of which 139 in 2020) and 601 under the Greece-Turkey bilateral agreement. Between 1 June 2016 and 18 March 2020, 18 770 persons returned voluntarily through the Assisted Voluntary Returns Programme out of which 13 253 were men, 3 224 women and 2 293 children. Under the Dublin Regulation, between 2016 and 2018, 10 804 asylum-seekers were transferred from Greece while 29 asylum-seekers were transferred to Greece.

The Commission has launched together with the Greek authorities an urgent call for action to Member States to relocate unaccompanied children from the Greek islands. The Commission has received pledges from ten Member States to provide around 1 600 safe homes. The first relocations already took place with 47 minors welcomed by Germany and 12 by Luxembourg and other relocations will follow swiftly. Moreover, the Commission will swiftly put forward a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, which will include proposals for meaningful forms of solidarity between Member States in this regard.

Lastly, Greece benefits from EU funding for integration under the European Social Fund and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. EU funding also supports the development of policies and targeted measures on reception and the inclusion of migrants in the labour market across the EU. Notably, the action plan on the integration of third-country nationals(1) focuses on supporting education for newly arrived migrants, employment and vocational training, access to basic services and active participation in host communities.

(1) COM(2016) 377 final.
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