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EU financial support for the construction and/or renovation of Greek detention centres

Question Time in the German Bundestag on 24 October 2012 (13.35 to 15.35 hrs)

Answered by Minister of State Cornelia Pieper

Question no. 33

Andrej Hunko, Member of the Bundestag
The Left Party parliamentary group

Question:

What additional information does the Federal Government now have about EU financial support for the construction and/or renovation of Greek detention centres for people facing deportation or other reception facilities (including for the temporary accommodation of Syrian refugees), which in April 2012 the Federal Government said it largely had no knowledge of in its answer to my written question 7, Bundestag printed paper 17/9307, and my oral question 63 (record of plenary proceedings 17/177); and what funds or other forms of support from the EU and its Member States are being or have been, since 2011, made available or used for the renovation, restructuring and construction of such facilities or, in connection with this, the establishment of new police units and police stations throughout the country?

Answer:

The Greek government’s National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management, which provides for the construction of reception facilities, among other measures, receives financial support from the EU Commission in the form of 9.8 million euros in emergency funding from the European Refugee Fund.

The European Union is providing personnel and non-financial support for the implementation of the National Action Plan via the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the European Commission. For example, EASO is deploying asylum support teams composed of officials from the EU Member States.

Frontex, the EU border agency, is supporting Greece in the field of border management. In addition, funding from the EU External Borders Fund and the European Return Fund, among others, is available for Greece.

According to the European Commission, which manages these funds, Greece has not yet submitted complete plans for all planned facilities, meaning that the EU’s financial contribution cannot yet be specified exactly.

To date, Greece has only applied for EU funding for individual projects: funding for the construction or renovation of reception centres in Filakio, Orestiada and Karoti from the EU External Borders Fund, for example, or funding for detention facilities in Athens, Elliniko and Aspropyros from the European Return Fund.

In this context, Germany will support proposals at the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council on 25-26 October 2012 to make it significantly easier for Member States experiencing economic difficulties, such as Greece, to access funding from EU funds such as the External Borders Fund and the Return Fund by reducing the required national co-financing rate.

The Federal Government is also actively participating in support for Greece in the framework of the EU assistance coordinated by EASO, by sending experts from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to Athens, and at bilateral level by sending a BAMF liaison officer to Greece.

Additionally, both in the framework of Frontex and on a bilateral basis, officers from the Federal Police are being sent to Greece and technical support for border surveillance is being made available. The assistance provided by Germany or by the EU funds specified above is not intended as support for the establishment of new police units or police stations as such.  

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