Allegations of mismanagement in Greece of European funds for addressing refugee flows

Written question – Allegations of mismanagement in Greece of European funds for addressing refugee flows – E-008252/2016

31 October 2016
E-008252-16
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Notis Marias (ECR)

Written question – Allegations of mismanagement in Greece of European funds for addressing refugee flows – E-008252/2016

The former Secretary-General of First Reception and Identification of the Ministry of Migration Policy, Odysseas Voudouris, made revealing public statements on shortcomings in the absorption and management of funds intended for addressing refugee flows.

Mr Voudouris stated in his letter to the Minister, dated 12 September 2016, that there are considerable delays in the implementation of Law 4375/2016 and, in particular, as regards the provisions on the administrative organisation of accommodation infrastructure.

This fact, as he told reporters, has resulted in delays in the absorption of funds allocated by the EU, which amounts to 28%.

In addition, Mr Voudouris referred to an unwillingness to comply with international standards in the construction of accommodation, resulting in delays, possible subsequent direct awards and projects being overpriced.

The Commission is asked:

1. What actions will it take in light of the above statements by the former Secretary-General in relation to the management of European funds?
2. What initiatives will it take for the immediate absorption of the EU funds intended to address refugee flows?

 

Answer to a written question – Allegations of mismanagement in Greece of European funds for addressing refugee flows – E-008252/2016

19 January 2017
E-008252/2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
In line with the applicable rules, the Commission monitors the implementation of the projects supported with EU funding in Greece, either through Greece’s National Programmes (NP) under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and Internal Security Fund (ISF) (EUR 509 million for 2014-2020), or through emergency assistance from the same funds (EUR 352.8 million since start of 2015). Such monitoring includes the compliance with the appropriate procurement procedures and international standards. In case allegations of mismanagement of funds are substantiated, the Commission will not hesitate to take the necessary procedural steps.

The funding allocated to Greece through its NPs is managed according to the principle of shared management. The implementation of the NPs is the responsibility of the competent Greek authorities which are responsible for putting in place all the legal, administrative and operational measures to ensure that the funds available are fully used in an efficient and effective manner. This covers notably actions to improve coordination among the relevant stakeholders, to strengthen operational capacity and to improve delivery mechanisms, including by streamlining the procurement procedures.

The Commission has been actively supporting the Greek authorities in their efforts to ensure an effective management of the NPs and an efficient and effective use of the EU funds in line with sound financial management and a maximal absorption of these funds. The Commission provides technical assistance to the relevant authorities in Greece to improve their administrative capacity to manage the funds and simplify the procedures.

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