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Migration and Home Affairs
News article9 September 2021

Towards better living conditions: progress one year on

A year after the Commission announced the establishment of the dedicated Task Force to improve the situation on the islands in a joint pilot project with Greek authorities, progress continues in constructing reception facilities on Aegean islands.

Kos – aerial view of the progress of works, May 2021
Kos – aerial view of the progress of works, May 2021

Following the commitment of the Commission to improve the situation on the Aegean islands and create suitable and futureproof facilities that would be up to EU standards in November 2020 a €121 million grant agreement was signed between the European Commission and the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum. The aim was to set up new Multi-Purpose Reception and Identification Centres on Samos, Kos and Leros. In April 2021, the grant was extended with a further €155 million for new centres on Lesvos and Chios.

Current progress of construction

On Samos, Leros and Kos the construction of new reception centres is rapidly progressing. At the end of September 2021, the new centre in Samos will be ready for use.  Final bids for the tender on Lesvos and Chios were received by the Greek authorities on 2 September 2021.  Construction will start this autumn, once a contract has been signed with the winning bidder. In the meantime, tents in the temporary camp in Lesvos have been removed and replaced by 200 containers and people are now gradually moving in.

Samos – view of the new accommodation areas, August 2021
Samos – view of the new accommodation areas, August 2021

Samos – view of the new accommodation areas, August 2021

Together with efforts to address overcrowding on the islands, the new centres will ensure adequate living conditions for new arrivals and support fair and efficient migration management.

Opening of the first new centre on Samos

With most works completed, the new Samos centre will open its doors in only a few weeks.

The transfer of persons from the current reception centre on Samos to the new centre is planned for the end of September 2021. The current centre will be closed.

Samos – inside an accommodation unit, August 2021
Samos – inside an accommodation unit, August 2021

Samos – inside an accommodation unit, August 2021

Together with the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the Task Force on Migration Management has been involved in the process, providing support and advice on how to cover essential needs and EU reception standards, and ensure efficient migration management.

New centres are being set up ensuring access to:

  • public transport,
  • schools,
  • health care provision,
  • shops,

and will include adequate spaces for:

  • leisure and social activities,
  • and basic kitchen areas.

View more images from the construction of new reception centres in the picture gallery.

Details

Publication date
9 September 2021