Meeting with Annalena Baerbock in Athens

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On Thursday 28 July, the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock met with representatives of four NGOs active in the field of asylum and human rights in Greece, including Equal Rights Beyond Borders.

We had a constructive discussion on refugee integration, the reception of asylum seekers, and the difficulties protection seekers face regarding access to the territory and to asylum procedures.

The meeting was organized on the initiative of the German Embassy in Greece and the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The meeting was attended by Alexandros Chrysomallos, on behalf of Equal Rights Beyond Borders, by Lefteris Papagiannakis (Greek Council for Refugees), Stelios Zavvos (Solidarity Now) and Maria Moudatsou (Praksis).

After the discussion, that Alexandros Chrysomallos attended on our behalf, he made the following statement:

In the meeting with the German Foreign Minister, we had the opportunity to highlight the issue of the complete lack of integration prospects of recognized refugees in Greece, as well as the implementation of an immigration deterrence policy by either placing obstacles to the access to the asylum procedures on islands and mainland, while returns to Turkey have been suspended, or by a systematic reduction of the provisions of material reception conditions for asylum seekers. We also expressed our concern about a future start of returns of recognized refugees and rejected applicants from Germany to Greece under Dublin, as this would constitute a violation of fundamental rights and would expose them to pushbacks, exploitation, and inhumane living conditions.

The full press release including the Statements of the representatives of the other organisations can be found here (Greek only).