EU to set up task force to deal with migrants/refugees on Lesvos

Following the fire that devastated the Moria facility on the islands of Lesvos, the Commission on Wednesday announced that it will establish a dedicated taskforce to improve the situation on the island in a durable way. The taskforce will implement a joint pilot with the Greek authorities for new reception facilities. In line with the framework proposed today in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, the taskforce will 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. The taskforce will work in close collaboration with EU Agencies and international organisations on the ground.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in statements ahead of the presentation of the Commission’s proposals for the new migration pact, 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 a priority action, the taskforce will work closely with the 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. They will take into account the specific needs of women, children and families, and will entail stronger involvement of EU Agencies and international organisations, such as UNHCR and IOM.