Migration and Home Affairs

Migration: Commission and Greece agree on a joint plan for a new reception centre in Lesvos

Thursday, 3 December, 2020

Today, the Commission concluded a memorandum of understanding with Greek authorities and EU agencies to better manage migration and asylum processes and to establish a new reception and identification centre on the island of Lesvos by early September 2021.

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said: “This is about people and their basic right to feel safe. This agreement is an important step towards a sustainable solution in Lesvos and in making sure that a situation like Moria can never happen again. It is also an important step in changing how we approach migration management and it paves the way for bringing into practice the guiding principles of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum.”

Today’s agreement sets out the following areas of cooperation between the Commission, the Greek authorities and the EU agencies:

  • Development and construction of a multi-purpose centre designed to provide adequate conditions and to operate with swift, fair and effective procedures. 
  • Improved management of arrivals through implementation of full reception and identification procedures, including screening upon arrival with health checks and security checks.
  • Seamless asylum and return procedures and integration measures to ensure that nobody’s application is left untreated for prolonged period of time and persons in need of international protection are better supported.
  • Reception conditions in line with EU law taking into account international standards and best practices, notably with regard to health, security, sanitation, food, information provision and counselling, clothing and non-food items, and common areas, with special focus on families and children.
  • Improved coordination, information exchange and monitoring through regular meetings both in Athens (coordinated by the Taskforce) as well as on the ground in Lesvos.
  • Adequate provision of staff training, capacity and planning, including risk assessment and contingency planning, to ensure the smooth operation of the new centre.  

For more information 

  • Press release: Migration: Commission and Greece agree joint plan for a new reception centre in Lesvos
  • Questions and Answers: Commission support for the situation on the Greek islands 
  • Factsheet: Managing Migration – Financial support to Greece