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16 février 2014 Towards a common European policy on asylum and migration – implications for Greece Volos, 21 October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "16 février 2014 Towards a common European policy on asylum and migration – implications for Greece Volos, 21 October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 16 février 2014 Towards a common European policy on asylum and migration – implications for Greece Volos, 21 October 2011

2 16 février Plan of the presentation European context Migration situation in Greece National Action Plan on Migration Management and Asylum Reform European solidarity Questions and answers

3 European context Amsterdam Treaty : 1999 Area of free movement One of the EUs most symbolic acquis -Internal borders abolished -Reinforcement of the areas external borders - Border control = sovereign responsibility of MS -Frontex agency to manage operational coordination at the external borders 16 février

4 European context Area of free movement Common visa policy Common asylum policy (qualification, procedures, reception, Dublin, etc) Common criteria for labour migration, family reunion, irregular migration, return, etc Common external borders and common standards Unequal distribution of burden between MS 16 février

5 European context Lisbon Treaty: Principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility The policies of the Union set out in this Chapter and their implementation shall be governed by the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including its financial implications, between the Member States. Whenever necessary, the Union acts adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall contain appropriate measures to give effect to this principle. (art 80, Lisbon Treaty) 16 février

6 Implications for Greece : Border management Since 2007, surge in irregular migration -350 irregular migrants per day in Orestiada in Oct 2010 November 2010: start of the Rabit operation -90% of all irregular migration into EU enters through Greece irregular migrants apprehended in a month at the land border with Turkey March 2011: end of Rabit operation -< 1400 irregular migrants apprehended per day at the land border with Turkey Operation Poseidon extended to Cyprus 16 février

7 Implications for Greece: Border management In Q1 and Q irregular migrants > Italy, Malta irregular migrants > Greece but -Visa free for Albanians since December Mainly through Turkish land border -Readmission cooperation works better with Albania than with Turkey Schengen evaluation - Critical recommendations to strengthen the management of external borders esp. land border with Turkey > Schengen Action Plan 16 February

8 Implications for Greece: Border management 16 février

9 Implications for Greece: Asylum Rise in asylum applications -Capacity to process claims (claims : , 2008: , 2009: ) -Reception capacity (~1000 places) -Detention capacity (~900 places) In 2010, requests for transfer under Dublin regulation (tenfold increase since 2005) In 2010, backlog of asylum applications Reports from CPT, FRA, NGOs ECHR decision of 11 January 2011 vs Belgium > de facto interruption of transfers Dublin regulation under revision at Council 16 février

10 Action Plan on Migration and Asylum Reform asylum procedures -January 2011: law on transitional phase -March 2011: law on new AS and FRS -Training sessions by UNHCR -Recognition rate 12.35% Establishment of new Asylum Service (AS) and of a First Reception Service (FRS) with as screening system (KEPI) -Directors appointed -Recruitments under way : transfers 16 février

11 Establishment of Appeal Committees -5 running and 22 foreseen -Backlog down from in 2010 to now Improving reception centres for asylum applicants and vulnerable groups and minors Improvement and creation of detention centres -(complementary to Schengen Action Plan) Improvement of services to migrants 16 février

12 Illegally staying migrants « Trapped » in transit Carriers and police weary of clandestines -Important fines on carriers -Possible backfire if free movement abused using sea routes (or air) to other Schengen MS -Possible change in irregular migration trends by land through the Balkans Carrying out return decisions -Return decisions de facto difficult to carry out : problems with identification, laissez passer, organising return etc -Readmission agreements and Protocols (eg Turkey, 2002) 16 février

13 Illegally staying migrants Voluntary return - less costly than deportation, added efficiency and more humane -Financial incentive if opportune -IOM had registered >2000 voluntary returnees in 2011 Assisted Voluntary Return -> 1 Mo EUR until now and upcoming 5 Mo EUR Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme (supported byEU migration funds) 16 février

14 European support Why are other MS so concerned? How is Europe showing solidarity? European migration funds 16 février Allocations per year (Million EUR) Total ERF Annual Programme Emergency Measures sub-total ERF EBF Annual Programme RF Annual Programme IF Annual Programme TOTAL

15 European support Greece is one of the greatest beneficiaries of EU funds with cumulated allocations of ~217Mo EUR earmarked for Greece since 2008 ~14% of EBF and RF for all MS earmarked for Greece Greece also main beneficiary of ERF emergency measures (up to 10 Mo EUR/year) Additional EBF funding allocated to support the Schengen Action Plan Absorption capacity can be a challenge! 16 février

16 European support Frontex Operational Office opened in Piraeus on 1 October Frontex Joint Operation Poseidon since 2006 and Rabit operation in Since May 2011, European Asylum Support Office deploys asylum experts Cooperation with third countries EU Readmission Agreements Cooperation with third countries, esp. North Africa on economic development, legal migration partnerships and return of irregular migrants. 16 February

17 Conclusions Greece and EU work hand in hand to manage migration issues. European solidarity supports Greeces reform efforts: balance between fair sharing of responsibilities and solidarity. Reinforcing European solidarity can be an opportunity for Greece, not least in economic terms. More orderly and humane migration is good for migrants, good for Greece and good for Europe. 16 février

18 16 février Thank you for your attention

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