Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, participates at the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism. Date: 08/04/2016. Location: Geneva, Switzerland. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Alain Grosclaude.

The European Commission’s assessment on the Action Plan where Greece describes how to cope with migration deficiencies regarding its external border control reveal that the Southern country has shown remarkable improvement but there are still many points that need to be addressed and improved.

What is more, the Commission made clear on yesterday’s press release that the relocation and resettlement European schemes have not showed enough progress and EU member states should increase their respective attempts easing the ongoing situation.

It is clear that Greece, which is currently struggling to come to an agreement with its creditors, cannot handle the influx of migrants arriving by hundreds every day the moment that the Greek-Fyrom borders still remain close.

The European Parliament (EP) proposed last Tuesday a more centralized asylum system which would allow the refugee crisis to be handled more effectively. The latter entails to an asylum system that would be legally binding for the EU countries.

Greece must present actions with details

The latest assessment of the European Commission (EC) states that Greece’s actions relative to the recommendations made by the European Council must be clarified in order to bring the desired results. More specifically, Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned yesterday: “The EU’s ability to maintain an area free of internal border controls depends on our ability to effectively manage our external borders. I welcome the continued efforts of the Greek Authorities to improve the situation, which we support. However, I also need to underline that all of the Council and Commission recommendations need to be met to face the unprecedented pressure at Europe’s external borders. The objective of the European Commission and of the Member States is to safeguard and strengthen Schengen. The Commission will continue to offer its support to Greece, and counts on the Member States to do the same.”

First of all, the Greek plan has serious timing deficiencies since it does not indicate a specific time-frame for actions such as equipment’s purchase, setting up a Data Immigrants Mapping system and training activities.

Secondly, there is no adequate information regarding which authorities are responsible for the implementation and supervision of the proposed actions.

Another recommendation that must be taken into serious consideration is the financing of the actions. Greece is recommended to reprioritize Greece’s Security National Programme and secure the financial viability of the Action plan.

The Greek authorities have two weeks to ameliorate the plan and provide the requested details to the Commission. However, the government’s main concern at the moment is only how to positively conclude the review with its creditors, implement the reforms needed and unlock the first tranche of the bailout funding.

Relocation and resettlement are still out of target

The evaluation of the Commission shows that relocation of migrants has been so far a total failure. Only 208 people (46 from Greece and 162 from Italy) have been relocated from March 16 till April 11. Thus, bringing the figure of relocated persons to 1.145 which is far from the 6.000 ones targeted.

As Dimitris Avramopoulos clearly stated on this issue: “EU Member States need to urgently deliver on their political and legal commitment to relocate persons in need of international protection from Greece and Italy. We cannot be satisfied with the results achieved so far. Relocation efforts have to be increased dramatically to reply to the urgent humanitarian situation in Greece and to prevent any deterioration of the situation in Italy.”

On the other hand, the EC reports that 6.677 people have been resettled to 15 countries since July 20 2015 when the EU scheme started. Further, the Commission emphasizes that the EU-Turkey agreement has been providing encouraging signs adding to the resettlement efforts. More in detail, through the 1:1 mechanism (resettlement of one Syrian from Turkey for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey after arriving irregularly on the Greek islands) 37 Syrians were resettled to Germany, 11 to Finland and 31 to the Netherlands in a week.

Legal binding system the right approach

The majority of the Members of the European Parliament (EP) voted yesterday in favor of the report of the Italian S&D Kashetu Kyenge and EPP Roberta Metsola who support an immigration strategy with binding targets for resettlement and relocation for each and every member state.

It seems that the EP is following similar to the European Commission paths which will most likely revise the Dublin III Regulation changing the rules on determining which member state is responsible for processing asylum applications.

However, there is still serious skepticism among the EU member states which continue raising walls and closing their borders in order to be protected from the refugee crisis. The latter is also reinforced by the recent statement of the Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil who said that Austria will increase its border controls at the Brenner Pass crossing with Italy from June 1.

All in all, Greece which is in a very unstable financial situation struggling to find measures that will unlock the loan tranche is not at the position to deal with migration when there are still closed borders and the country has been transformed into a huge refugee camp.

Last but not least, it is still too early to say whether the EU-Turkey deal, which will be discussed by the president of the European Council Donald Tusk and president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, at a debate today, is going to stabilize the migration crisis in Europe.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How technology is driving a fourth wave of environmentalism

Syria: Why did the US now take the Russian offer for a truce? What next?

The influence of the multilateral agreement on migrant health

The opportunity of studying Medicine abroad

Want more climate action? Let’s show how good a planet-friendly life can be

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

Medical Devices Regulation: Commission welcomes Council support to prioritise the fight against coronavirus

Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Would you want to live to 150? Top quotes on what it means to grow old

‘Dire consequences’ for a million children in the Middle East, North Africa, as funding dwindles

Food finally features in the climate debate. Now what?

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

The digital revolution will transform the steel industry

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Girls still being treated as aliens in medicine in the 21st century

Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year for 2019 is ‘climate emergency’

How the gig economy can transform farms in the developing world

‘Once lost, hearing doesn’t come back,’ World Health Organization warns on World Hearing Day

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

How AI is shaping financial services

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

Antarctica: the final coronavirus-free frontier. But will it stay that way?

Health Education, is it a necessity?

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

14 ways to protect your mental health in the pandemic, according to Public Health England

Skills, not job titles, are the new metric for the labour market

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

The Fourth Industrial Revolution needs a social revolution, too. Here’s how we can make this happen

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Burnout is a pandemic. Why don’t we talk more about it?

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

Could the EU’s ban on palm oil in biofuels do more harm than good?

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

The business case for investing in sustainable plastics

ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

Mental health and suicide: from the 19th century to present

Shenzhen just made all its buses electric, and taxis are next

Commission makes it easier for citizens to access health data securely across borders

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s green shoots, highlight environmental recovery from war

Poor quality is healthcare’s silent killer. Here’s what we can do about it

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

How drones can help rural Africa take flight

France and Germany can’t reach consensus regarding EU’s top jobs

These companies can recycle nearly anything, from cigarette butts to fax machines

8 steps towards a sustainable economic recovery

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s