It is important for Norway to continue to support the Greek authorities in asylum and migration management.
In the context of her visit to Athens, Ms. Barstad met with Mr. Manos Logothetis, Special Secretary for Migration Reception at the Ministry of Migration and Asylum Policy, which was recently re-established. During these meetings, Ms. Barstad confirmed that it is important for the EEA Grants donor countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - to continue to support the Greek authorities in asylum and migration management.
The main objective of the co-financed Asylum and Migration programme, which was launched at a special event in Athens 26 February, is to ensure the proper functioning of the national asylum and migration management systems and assist asylum seekers to exercise basic rights. The programme aims at upgrading services for third country nationals arriving in Greece, with emphasis placed on unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable groups. The programme will also contribute to strengthening the bilateral relations among national institutions that play a critical role in the field of asylum and migration and partners from the donor states, through the exchange of expert know-how and the adoption of best practices.
This programme complements the EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme which is already implemented in Greece and is managed directly by the donors, with a budget of EUR 16.5 million. Both programmes build on the experiences gained in the previous financial period in the field of asylum and migration. Both programmes are part of the overall commitment of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to reducing social and economic disparities in 15 countries across central and Eastern Europe, including Greece, via the EEA and Norway Grants. Under the current funding period, which will extend to 2024, the funding allocation for Greece amounts to EUR 116.7 million. Greece has been a beneficiary country of the EEA and Norway Grants since 1994, when the EEA Agreement was put into effect, having received more than EUR 180 million in project and programme support so far.