EU Commission To Establish New Taskforce to Address Lesvos Migrant Issues



Credit: Greek Government

Following the fire that devastated the Moria migrant facility on the Greek island of Lesvos, the EU Commission announced on Wednesday that it will establish a dedicated task force to improve the situation on the island in a meaningful way.

The task force will implement a joint pilot project with Greek authorities for new reception facilities for migrants. In line with the framework proposed today in the new “Pact on Migration and Asylum,” the task force will help ensure that migration is managed in an effective way, including adequate living conditions, quicker legal procedures and what the EU called “more balanced responsibility-sharing and solidarity.”

The task force will work in close collaboration with already-existing EU agencies and international organizations on the ground at Lesvos.

In a statement ahead of the presentation of the Commission’s proposals for the new migration pact, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “Moria is a stark reminder of the need to find sustainable solutions on migration. We are stepping up, with our EU agencies, to provide support to the migrants who were left without shelter, and to Greece.

“And we expect the other member states to step in, too. Together we have to show that Europe manages migration in a humane and effective way. The European Commission is ready to contribute its share.”

As one of its main priorities, the task force will work closely with Greek authorities to build new reception facilities in the coming months. The facilities will be of a European-standard, durable infrastructure and will provide access to healthcare and adequate sanitation.

The new facilities will take into account the specific needs of women, children and families, and will entail a much-increased involvement of EU agencies and international organizations, such as the UN High Commission on Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, or IOM.