EASO operations in Greece to expand significantly

Signature of Hosting Agreement with GreeceThe hosting agreement gives legal and administrative clarity to the status of EASO in the country, including that of its staff and assets, thus allowing the Agency to be better able to support the Hellenic asylum and reception authorities.

On 28 January 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Greek government signed a Seat Agreement for the Hosting of the EASO Operational Office in Greece. The agreement was signed in Athens by the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Greek Alternate Minister for Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos.

Based on an Operating Plan which was signed between EASO and Greece in December 2019, the Agency is already scaling up its operational presence in support of the Greek authorities. Deployed EASO personnel will double from approximately 500 to over 1000 throughout the year. They will work to support the Greek Asylum Service, the national Dublin Unit, the Reception and Identification Service and the Appeals Authority. The personnel will include caseworkers, field support staff, reception staff, research officers for the Appeals Authority, interpreters and administrative staff.

Within this increase, the operational presence on the Greek mainland will increase by four times the level of 2019, including personnel being permanently deployed to eight new locations in Thessaloniki and Ioannina to support the country’s regular asylum procedure. At the same time, the number of caseworkers will double on the islands (from approximately 100 to 200) and triple on the mainland (from approximately 30 to 100).

EASO’s operations in Greece in 2020 will translate to a financial commitment of at least EUR 36 million.

For more information, you can read EASO’s Press Release.

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