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Migration and Home Affairs

Financial support from the EU

EU funding for migration in Greece aims at achieveing:

  • up to standard reception capacity for people newly arrived

  • improvement of living conditions for people awaiting asylum decisions

  • faster asylum procedures that respect fundamental rights

  • integration of recognised beneficiaries of international protection

  • effective and sustainable returns, including via assisted voluntary return and reintegration programme

The EU’s financial support to Greece in the period 2014-2020 comes from three EU funds:

  • €2.44 billion from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

  • €450 million from the Internal Security Fund (covering borders, visa and security) and

  • €643.6 million from the Emergency Support Instrument

Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, and Deputy Director-General in charge of the Task Force Migration Management in DG HOME, Beate Gminder, signing the grant for the construction of reception centres on Samos, Kos and Leros

To learn more on how and to whom the above funds are allocated, check the factsheet below:

Improved reception capacity and up-to-standard reception conditions

Most of the EU funding provides support to the Greek reception and accommodation system.

EU funding managed by the Greek authorities and international organisations currently provides accommodation to some 50 000 asylum seekers on the mainland. This includes long-term accommodation provided in sites and apartments, including in dedicated shelters for unaccompanied children, and in Semi Independent Living apartments for teenagers above 16 years old.

EU funding furtherimproves reception conditions for people awaiting a decision on their asylum request on the Greek mainland and islands. This includes:


  • Safe Zones for children, which provide a protected environment for unaccompanied children and teenagers.

  • Construction of new multi-purpose reception and identification centres on the five Aegean islands, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros.

Islands and mainland

  • protection activities towards the most vulnerable asylum seekers, including psychosocial counselling, legal aid, support in sex-gender-based violence (SGBV) cases

  • access to health services and deployment of medical experts to support migrant population

  • social, recreational and educational activities and access to formal education

  • projects that promote self-reliance

  • cash support to the asylum seekers in line with the Reception Conditions Directive

A creativity workshop organised for unaccompanied children

Fast and Fair Asylum Procedures

EU funding also contributes to fair and efficient asylum procedures on the Greek mainland and islands by:

  • training and staffing with 300 new as well as experienced Asylum Service staff

  • the creation of fully equipped workstations and the deployment of interpreters

Integration into the Greek society

Besides relocations, it is important to provide long-term prospects to the recognised refugees and beneficiaries of international protection to integrate into the Greek society after they leave the reception system. This also aims to keep enough reception capacity for people still awaiting the decision of their asylum request.

EU funding supports integration measures focusing on:

  • language classes

  • soft skills training

  • job counselling

  • financial support for the rent of housing

Effective and sustainable returns

EU funding contributes to the implementation of returns of those who are not eligible to stay from Greece to the countries of origin of migrants. More concretely, the support covers:

  • the operational costs of the Pre-departure Detention Centres in Greece and the costs of the returns

  • the operational costs of the Open Centre for the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration and the costs of these returns

EU funding coming from the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund has been channeled via:

  • Emergency Assistance awarded directly by the Commission for the implementation of a specific project.

  • The Greek National Programmes (75% EU contribution), where the Greek Authorities are responsible for the programming, implementation and monitoring of the projects. Additional information on the projects under the Greek National Programmes can be found on the dedicated website.

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