Imperative the investigation of EU funding for Greece
to manage the refugee crisis
Athens, April 4th, 2017
On Monday, March 13th 2017, SolidarityNow submitted a petition to the European Parliament (Committee on Petitions – PETI) requesting that it investigates the connection between European Union funding in Greece and the dismal reception conditions for individuals seeking international protection. The petition draws the urgent attention of the Parliament to the mismanagement of EU funds by Greece, which has left people to live in degrading and deplorable circumstances, resulting in the avoidable deaths of several individuals.
The EU has allocated over €1 billion to Greece to help the country bring its asylum system into compliance with its human rights obligations; however, despite substantial funding, the country has failed to establish reception conditions that comply with these obligations. The petition highlights the substandard conditions and the deficiencies of funding implementation by Greece and requests meaningful inquiry into this situation, including a hearing before the PETI Committee, and the possible evaluation of the situation by the European Court of Auditors and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
In order to provide more immediate and sustainable relief to individuals suffering in inhumane living conditions, we recommend that the EU funding earmarked for reception is shifted towards camp alternatives, such as apartment rental schemes and hosting programs, which are more cost-effective and provide more dignified conditions for those seeking refuge.
“Of course, the EU institutions are aware of the situation in Greece”, notes the Managing Director of SolidarityNow, Epaminondas Farmakis. “With a peculiar and well-known doublespeak, the Commission takes advantage of the administrative chaos and the inhuman conditions prevailing in the islands to convey the message of deterrence. Not only does Europe know, but it also finds it convenient. And here lies the real issue: not only do they know, but the situation actually suits them. That is why it is the duty of civil society to inconvenience the EU and ask them to be responsible with human lives and the funding allocated from European taxpayers”.
SolidarityNow remains deeply concerned with the mismanagement of EU funds by Greece and the dire situation that such mismanagement has created. We urge the Parliament to take due notice of this petition to ensure that urgently needed measures are implemented as human life is at imminent risk. We strongly advocate for an expedited review by the Parliament of the situation in Greece with an aim of ensuring that proper reception standards are attained as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact:
Natasha Arnpriester, Legal Research Coordinator
Eleni Takou, Senior Advocacy Officer
Aya Burweila, Senior Researcher & Public Policy Officer
Valia Savvidou, Press & Events Officer
firstname.lastname@example.org – tel 210 6772500