by Barbara Spinelli
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
Mr. Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management
August 26, 2015
There are many countries in need of solidarity due to the strong influx of migrants and asylum seekers, but Greece – since years in deep crisis and recession – struggles more than any other country and to an intolerable level to handle the reception of refugees: 160,000 from January to August 2015, as reported by the UN. An increase of 750% compared to 2014. Thousands of migrants are blocked at the border between Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM), violently rejected by the authorities of of Skopje.
The European director of UNHCR describes the situation of migrants in Europe as “the worst” he has seen in thirty years of experience in humanitarian matters. Pope Francis has equated rejections of migrants to “acts of war”.
The European Commission decided in August 2015 the allocation of special funds to assist countries in major difficulty, on the basis of Article 79 TFUE. For 2014-2020, Greece is expected to receive 260 million euro from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), and 195 million from the Internal Security Fund (ISF) .
It seems, however, that the first payments are slow to come, as admitted on August 17 by Commissioner Avramopoulos in an interview to Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” . Great Britain has already received the due aid.
- Is the Commission aware of the harm caused by any delay in payment, considering the dramatic situation of abandonment in which refugees find themselves in the Greek islands?
- Does the Commission consider sufficient the numbers allocated, considering such a high increase in migration?
- How will the decision taken by the European Council on 25-26 June be implemented, regarding the relocation of 16,000 asylum seekers from Greece to other Member States?
Molly Scott Cato
Fabio De Masi
Marie Christine Vergiat
Tania Gonzalez Penas
Ana Maria Gomes
Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea
Miguel Urban Crespo
Bilbao Barandica Izaskun
Lola Sánchez Caldentey
Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz
Liadh Ní Riada