Greece and the United Kingdom signed a collaboration agreement on Wednesday for information exchange and close cooperation of their border police and justice system to tackle the migration crisis.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Greece-UK strategic plan on migration was signed via video conference. In Athens, it was signed at the Migration & Asylum Ministry by Alternate Minister George Koumoutsakos, in the presence of British ambassador to Greece Kate Smith. In the UK it was signed by Home Office and Justice Minister Chris Philp.
According to a statement issued by the Greek ministry, the strategic plan provides for the reallocation of unaccompanied minors from Greece to the UK and the reunification of refugee children with relatives in the UK.
The judicial cooperation between the two countries will provide know-how in the process of asylum appeals. Translation support at refugee reception and identification centers and Greece’s Asylum Service are also foreseen in the agreement, while know-how in the field of returns is also a key aspect of practical cooperation.
Also, the Greek Coast Guard will stage joint search and rescue operations in the Aegean Sea with the UK’s Border Force.
The agreement also foresees the establishment of a strategic dialogue at the highest level at least once a year, in order to assess the progress and effectiveness of joint actions.