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State Secretary Barstad - Photo:Photo: Norwegian Embassy/John Reymondos
State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice Hilde Barstad visited Athens to attend the launch event of the EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme, aiming at upgrading services for third country nationals arriving in Greece, with emphasis on unaccompanied minors and vulnerable groups. Photo: Norwegian Embassy/John Reymondos

State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice Ms Hilde Barstad visits Greece

Renewed support to the Greek national asylum system through a EUR 16.5 million allocation via the EEA Grants.

| Athens

“We are well aware of the fact that the Greek asylum system is currently severely strained. Through the EEA Grants, Norway is supporting Greece in strengthening capacity through the whole chain of asylum management, with an emphasis on unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable groups. I’m happy to be in Athens for the launch of our second asylum programme at EUR 16,5 million, bringing our total contribution up to EUR 33 million”, Ms. Hilde Barstad, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice, stated.

Hilde Barstad visited Athens to attend the launch event of the EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme under the EEA Grants 2014 - 2021 funding period. The programme focuses on building the capacity of the Greek asylum system while safeguarding the rights of asylum seekers. Via the EEA Grants, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have committed a total EUR 33 million to this objective, while an additional EUR 2.9 million is allocated via Greece’s national contribution.

Renewed support to the Greek national asylum system

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.

Fact sheet Asylum and Migration