The European Court of Auditors has concluded that the refugee “hotspots” in Greece and Italy that were created during the 2015 refugee crisis are “not yet adequate”. The court said that it found that “despite considerable EU support” in the current situation, reception centers in Italy were not able to receive migrants in a proper way while those in Greece lack abilities to accommodate them.
The auditors’ report further commented that “overall, we found that the hotspot approach has helped improve the migration management in the frontier member states, under very challenging and constantly changing circumstances, by increasing their reception capacities, improving registration procedures, and by strengthening the coordination efforts.” However, their report also added that “despite considerable support from the EU, at the end of 2016 the reception facilities in both countries were not yet adequate to properly receive (Italy) or accommodate (Greece) the number of migrants arriving. There was still a shortage of adequate facilities to accommodate and process unaccompanied minors in line with international standards, and at the next level of reception.”
The 2015 refugee crisis was one of the most severe crises that the EU has ever faced. Around 1.5 million people reached EU borders from Syria and other countries. While Germany and Sweden accepted many of them, mainly Central European countries built walls and fences, thus creating a major crisis within the bloc. Under the Dublin system – a framework that had governed the EU’s asylum policy before the crisis – refugees claimed asylum in the first EU country they had arrived in. This policy put major pressure on Italy and Greece, which were both at the forefront of the crisis.