Friday, December 8, 2023

EU's Asylum Agency signs deal on expanding operations in Greece

EASO / Flickr
Signature of Hosting Agreement between EASO and Greece

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The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Greek government signed a deal on Tuesday to boost EASO’s operational deployments in the country, which is struggling to process asylum requests and overcrowded hotspots in the islands.
The agreement was signed in Athens by the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Greek Alternate Minister for Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos.
“We have already started further expanding our support in the country in these weeks, and today’s agreement gives us the needed administrative and legal framework to do so effectively,” commented Gregori on the signing of the agreement.
The agreement will see EASO doubling its personnel in the country to over 1,200 in 2020 and will include caseworkers, field support staff, reception staff, research officers for the Appeals Authority, interpreters and administrative staff.
According to the statement, EASO’s operations will improve the efficiency of its support through “legal and administrate clarity”. EASO has been assisting Greece in handling the refugee crisis since 2011 and to fulfil the operations foreseen by the new hosting agreement, it will require a financial commitment of at least EUR 36 million.
“The challenge is very big, difficult and hard to solve. Member-states must not and cannot stand alone in the face of a challenge of such magnitude,” Koumoutsakos said, adding that “European cooperation, solidarity and coordination are essential.”

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