BRUSSELS, 25th May, 2016 (WAM) – The European Commission has awarded 25 million Euros in emergency funding to the European Asylum Support Office, EASO, to enhance its capacity to further support the Greek authorities. These additional resources will be used to support the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement and the EU Emergency Relocation scheme. The funding is provided under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, AMIF, and will allow for the deployment of additional member state experts and interpreters, and the set-up of mobile EASO offices in hotspots to assist with processing asylum applications.

Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “EU Agencies are playing a crucial role in supporting the Greek authorities on the ground, providing practical expertise and operational support. The Commission is supporting these deployments through emergency EU funding. I call on member states to quickly make available the necessary staff to help EASO deliver the planned support and give a boost to the EU relocation scheme. This is key to addressing the humanitarian situation on the ground.”

The funding announced today is part of the emergency response plan developed together by the Commission, the Greek authorities and relevant stakeholders to address the ongoing humanitarian situation on the ground and implement the EU-Turkey Statement of 18th March. Since the beginning of 2015, the Commission has awarded 262 million Euros in emergency assistance to support the Greek authorities as well as Union agencies, international organisations and NGOs operating in Greece.

Emergency funding comes on top of the 509 million Euros already allocated to Greece under the national programmes for 2014-2020 (294.5 million from AMIF and 214.7 million from ISF).