Norway signed agreements with Greece on Tuesday to allocate 16 million Euros from the EEA funds. The money will be spent on strengthening the country’s asylum and migration policy.
The agreements cover seven projects that concerns all stages of the asylum process, explains State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte (H) in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to NTB.
– A large part of the money, around EUR 4.9 million, will go to front-line reception centres, and another large pot will go to the asylum authorities themselves in Greece. But it also provides assistance to the legal services – to strengthen legal processes – and to improve the capacity for planning, coordination and crisis management, explains Holte, who was in Athens on Tuesday. In total, the agreement is worth around NOK 160 million.
– It is new that we have such a broad involvement in asylum and migration, he adds.
In addition to the money, the Norwegian authorities will contribute as partners in several of the projects that have now been agreed.
– This is a very important contribution to also assist in practical matters. We visited the asylum authorities in Greece who described a demanding situation with many arrivals. says Holte, who visited a reception center in Athens.
He also heard more about the new Greek government’s plans for changes in their migration policy.
– They have announced that they will, among other things, do something about the camps. They want to transfer people to the mainland, and that makes sense, as the camps on the islands are filled far beyond their capacity, says the Secretary of State.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today