Spain and Greece will receive emergency assistance from the European Commission to respond to migratory challenges. Specifically, Spain will receive €25.6m to improve the reception capacity for arrivals at its southern coast and in Ceuta and Melilla as well as to help increase returns. Another €20m has been awarded to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to improve reception conditions in Greece, notably on the island of Lesvos.

“The Commission continues to deliver on its commitment to support member states under pressure,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. “Spain has seen arrival figures increase during the past year and we need to step up our support to help manage the numbers and return those who have no right to stay. And while the EU-Turkey Statement has greatly contributed to lowering the number of arrivals in Greece, the country is still facing significant migratory pressure, in particular on the islands.”

According to Avramopoulos, over €1bn has now been awarded in emergency assistance to help Member States manage migration.

According to reports, the Commission is now proposing to double funding across the board, with €10.4bn for migration, €9.3bn for border management, €2.5bn for internal security and €1.2bn for safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some member states – reaching over €23bn overall. In addition, support to EU Agencies in security, border and migration management will be increased from €4.2 to €14bn.