Visiting Greece, OSCE parliamentarians assess accommodations for migrants and efforts to care for most vulnerable

250322 greece visit photoOSCE PA Migration Committee visit to Greece, Lesbos, RIC Mytilene, 21 March 2022COPENHAGEN, 25 March 2022 – A delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Migration has concluded a three-day visit this week to Lesbos, Samos and Athens. The aim of the mission was to bring renewed attention to the situation on the Aegean islands, to assess migration and asylum policies seven years after the onset of the migration crisis, and to learn more about the new EU-funded facilities designed to address the deficiencies of previous camps.

Led by the Chair of the Committee, OSCE PA Vice-President Kristian Vigenin (MP, Bulgaria), the delegation included Vice-Chairs Luigi Augussori (MP, Italy), Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (MP, Cyprus), Farah Karimi (MP, The Netherlands) and Gudrun Kugler (MP, Austria), as well as member Dimitrios Markopoulos (MP, Greece) and the Head of the Hellenic Delegation to the OSCE PA Theodoros Karaoglou.

Participants met with a broad range of interlocutors including the mayors of Mytilene Stratis Kytelis and East Samos Georgios Stantzos; municipal council members; representatives of the Greek coast guard and police; the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex); UNHCR, and a number of NGOs providing legal aid, education, medical and psychosocial support. They also had the opportunity to hear from asylum seekers directly. An online briefing with the Secretary General for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, Emmanouil Logothetis, was held prior to departure. The visit concluded with a meeting at the Hellenic parliament in Athens.

The programme centered on two facilities hosting asylum seekers – the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) Mytilene, in Mavrovouni, Lesbos, and Zervou Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC) on Samos.

“It is important to prevent asylum seekers from spending prolonged periods in a legal limbo, while their cases either undergo successive, lengthy reviews or eventually end with no possibility of deportation,” Vigenin said. “There is a gap in terms of lack of sufficient support to recognised refugees. Programmes should foster contacts with the local community and facilitate a smooth transition from the camps into society if refugee status is awarded.”

The Ad Hoc Committee on Migration plans to follow up on these issues with the Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum and will share a comprehensive report including its recommendations ahead of the OSCE PA Annual Session in July. For more on the Committee and its activities, see here.

Photos of the visit to Greece are available here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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