The Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou,referred to the refugee / migrant issue through two articles in the Greek Press, in Ethnos newspaper as well as in Huffingtonpost.gr.
The key points of her article, “The refugee /migration crisis as EU policy crisis”, published in Ethnos newspaper (22.05.2016):
- The refugee/migration phenomenon, which, according to the UN, is unprecedented in history, requires a serious, systematic, coherent and common European policy. All levels of government, i.e. the central government, the local and regional authorities and the European institutions must show solidarity in practice.
- In this context, the Region of Attica has taken the initiative to make a number of European contacts aiming firstly, at informing on the situation of the refugee/migrant issue with special focus on the specificities affecting Attica, secondly, at highlighting the regional dimension which can and should be taken into account in order to address the issue, and thirdly, at coordinating the actions-initiatives taken in order for the local and regional authorities to become partners in the dialogue with the EU institutions, the highest authority to deal with the matter.
- In this context, a letter has been sent by the regions of Attica, Sicily and Lazio to the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament as well as the European Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos and the European Commissioner on Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Mr Christos Stylianides.
- In this new situation we are called upon to seek new policies such as a fundamental revision of the Dublin Convention and a truly common asylum policy.
- This implies the corresponding new tools and a radically new approach to EU relations with local and regional authorities. This is why it is very important for the local and regional authorities to be among the EU’s institutional interlocutors, to have a say in designing policies as well as access to both existing and future resources in the relevant funds and financial tools.
- (…) the role of local and regional authorities in the defence and deepening of Democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights is not just crucial but of primary importance.
- For, they are a critical path towards overcoming the current political crisis within the EU.
Link for the article (in greek): http://www.ethnos.gr/eponymos/arthro/to_prosfygiko_os_krisi_politikis_tis_ee-64379325/
The key points of the Governor’s article, “On the refugee/migrant phenomenon”, published in Huffingtonpost.gr (07.05.2016):
- At the international Forum on the reception and integration of refugees in the EU, held in Barcelona on the 3 May 2016, almost all questions relating to the various aspects of the evolving phenomenon were raised.
- This phenomenon is here to stay and becomes commonplace, as this is not a temporary, seasonal situation but a deeply rooted tendency that requires a collective, coherent European response.
- For, even if the civil war in Syria were to be over tomorrow, the flows of refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants would not run dry as if by magic.
- (…) the refugee phenomenon is revealing a number of long-standing structural weaknesses and deficiencies which render the EU unattractive and unreliable, in particular towards young people, the very future of the European project and its reason of existence.
- The new common policy should be drawn up without delay, in a holistic way rather than in a fragmented manner, on the basis of solidarity and shared responsibilities.
- In this same context, the contribution of regional and local authorities should also be taken into account - namely of those actors which have the experience and intervene immediately, often in a “cloudy” legal framework and without the necessary resources.
- However, their contribution is crucial. Which is why the ongoing review of the European policy must integrate the specificities, for example of those regions and municipalities which are responsible for receiving thousands of refugees who, nevertheless, do not wish to remain there.
Link for the article (in greek): http://www.huffingtonpost.gr/rena-dourou/-_5411_b_9859112.html