Following Belgium’s decision to withdraw their asylum experts who are on the islands citing fears for their personal security, the Commission’s spokeswoman on migration, Natasha Bertaud, said on Thursday that EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos sent a letter to Greek Alternate Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas on November 4, stressing the need to ensure the experts’ security and saying that conditions in the hotspots have to be improved immediately.
According to the spokeswoman, European institutions and the Greek authorities are in constant communication, including the European Asylum Service, which has taken a series of measures, such as additional staff, infrastructure and equipment. As regards the additional special support staff requested from the other member states to send to the Greek islands, Bertaud said the that conditions are getting better.
Regarding last night’s clashes on Chios, she said that the Commission is closely monitoring the situation. Security in the hotspots was the responsibility of national authorities, she said, “however, we are jointly working for the improvement of the situation.”
On his part, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas underlined that the Commission’s target is that no member state on the front line will be left to manage the crisis alone.