New EU taskforce set up to deal with refugees on Lesvos

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

In line with the framework recently proposed in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the taskforce will:

  • Implement a joint pilot program with the Greek authorities for new reception facilities.
  • Help ensure that migration is managed in an effective way, including adequate living conditions, more certainty through faster procedures and more balanced responsibility-sharing and solidarity.
  • Work in close collaboration with EU agencies and international organisations on the ground.

In a statement ahead of the presentation of the Commission’s proposals for the new migration pact, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said the taskforce is a sign of the EU “stepping up.”

“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,” von der Leyen said in the statement.

“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.”

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