10.11.2009

European refugee rights organisations file complaint with the European Commission

Today, PRO ASYL, together with refugee advocacy organisations from the Netherlands, Finland and the United Kingdom (Dutch Council for Refugees, Finnish Refugee Advice Centre, British Refugee and Migrant Justice) filed a complaint against Greece with the EU Commission. This complaint is endorsed by ECRE and 19 other European organisations.

PRO ASYL calls upon the Commission to not wait any longer, and to finally initiate an infringement procedure against Greece because of Greece neglect of crucial EU asylum directives. It is practically impossible to receive protection in Greece; the rudimentary reception system has collapsed and protection seekers are left destitute, homeless and vulnerable.

Despite these problems, Germany and other European states continue to return asylum seekers to Greece. In 2009, Germany alone requested Greek cooperation on 1.567 returns. Although the German Federal Constitutional Court has temporarily stopped numerous deportations to Greece, the German government continues to sticks to this practice.

“This shows a lack of respect towards the Constitutional Court and a total lack of responsibility towards asylum seekers”, says Karl Kopp, speaker for European Affairs with PRO ASYL.

Due to its geographical location, Greece faces large numbers of newly arriving refugees. At the moment there is a backlog of more than 30.000 pending asylum requests and every year tens of thousands arrive in the country. The new Greek government has declared that it will improve the situation, however concrete actions are needed to back up these declarations. In the mean time, asylum seekers should not be returned to Greece.

Download the complaint >>

All pressreleases