On 23 September 2020, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Georgios Kyrtsos and Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi of the Group of the European People’s Party, posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“The economic and social situation around the city of Mytilene and the island of Lesbos as a whole has deteriorated following the arson attack on the Moria camp, which police investigations reveal to have been the work of Afghan migrants. How does the Commission intend to compensate local residents for financial losses directly or indirectly attributable to incoming waves of migrants and what budgetary appropriations are being earmarked or could be earmarked for EU solidarity in the form of assistance for the affected communities?”
On 8 January 2021, Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, responded on behalf of the European Commission stating:
“For the 2014-2020 period, the Operational Programmes ‘North Aegean’ and the national programmes ‘Transport, Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development’ and ‘Competitiveness, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund support the Island of Lesvos and the areas affected by the refugee crisis in Mytilene municipality. The following areas can be financed: infrastructures under pressure because of the refugee crisis such as, solid waste management, water and wastewater management, transport, healthcare, schools, energy provision, culture, as well as targeted tourist marketing actions and support to enterprises. To date projects amounting to of EUR 145 million have been selected for implementation in the municipality of Mytilene.
The Commission attaches great importance to employment, education and social inclusion for the citizens of the Region of North Aegean including the island of Lesvos. Concerning European Social Fund (ESF) the level of the Community funding in the current Programming Period (2014‐ 2020) includes social inclusion and activation projects amounting to EUR 35 million for implementation in the municipality of Mytilene. In the upcoming programming Period (2021-2027) ESF+ budget will be increased and can also help the Greek authorities face the challenges of specific realities like the one in the island of Lesvos.
In line with the shared management and subsidiarity principle, it is up to the Greek authorities to identify the needs of each given region and territory and to select the specific projects in order to reply to its citizens’ needs.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/molivos-lesbos-greece-city-island-3717677/