Greek islands threatened by “humanitarian catastrophe

Greek islands threatened by

In view of the spread of the coronavirus, the expert council of german foundations for integration and migration (SVR) warns of a "humanitarian catastrophe" on the greek islands.

Germany and other european states should accept people in need of protection from greece as a "coalition of the willing", the SVR demands in a position paper on the reform of european asylum policy, which has been faltering for years. This threatens to be "completely overshadowed by the corona pandemic". EU commission to present its new proposals after easter.

"After the developments on the greek-turkish border, it is to be feared that european migration and asylum policy will in the foreseeable future once again be confronted with escalations for which it has so far not been sufficiently prepared structurally," the SVR writes. Migrants had gathered there in recent weeks after the turkish government declared that the border to greece was open. Greek security forces repelled the people, sometimes violently.

The current crises showed the need for fundamental reform, the experts said. For example, asylum procedures and benefits for asylum seekers had to become more uniform across EU countries. The current strong differences offered incentives to move on to other countries contrary to the rules.

It would be better to take into account the wishes of those affected, but also to shorten social benefits if asylum seekers refuse to return to the state that is responsible for them. Recognized refugees were then gradually given more rights to freedom of movement. Ways to regular migration to europe should be expanded – this is also important to cover the demand for skilled workers.

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