Commissioner Dunja Mijatović and her team visited Greece from 25 to 29 June 2018. During the visit, the Commissioner held discussions on issues pertaining to the reception and integration of migrants, including asylum seekers, and to the impact of austerity measures on the rights to health and education.
The present report focuses on the following major issues:
Reception and integration of migrants, including asylum seekers:
“The right to family life applies to everyone, including refugees and migrants,” said the Migration Committee, which called on member States to “develop common guidelines” to implement the right to family reunification. “Families must not be torn apart and they should not be prevented from reuniting after an often dangerous departure from their country of origin,” the parliamentarians said, approving the report by Ulla Sandbæk (Denmark, UEL).
“I welcome the very humane approach towards the care of migrant children, who are also provided with psychological support and education, said Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), General Rapporteur on the Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children, ending a visit to two shelters for unaccompanied migrant children, operated by SOS Children’s Villages in Greece on 23 July.
Mr Fridez, who was heading a parliamentary delegation, commended SOS Children’s Villages Greece for their work in upholding the human rights and best interests of migrant children.
“The situation for asylum seekers continues to be appalling in the Greek Reception and Identification Centre at Moria on the island of Lesbos, which houses 7500 people at present,” said Petra De Sutter (Belgium, SOC) who visited Athens, Kavala, Drama and Lesbos from 10 to 12 July for the preparation of her future PACE report on “Greek islands: more needs to be done.
Europe is a destination for people seeking international protection or a better life, due to wars, political turmoil and the poverty affecting its neighbouring regions. This inflow adds to the migrants and refugees who have already settled in Europe. At the same time, populists question Europe’s capacity to absorb a greater number of migrants and refugees, as well as the latter’s willingness to integrate.