Second Swiss contribution – migration framework credit: Karin Keller-Sutter signs first implementation agreement with Greece

Press releases, 14.10.2022

The second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states will be used to fund projects and programmes that support countries facing high migratory pressure. On 14 October in Luxembourg, Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter and Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi signed an implementation agreement on bilateral cooperation in this matter. Switzerland has earmarked CHF 40 million for the support of migration-related projects and programmes in Greece.

Along with Cyprus and Italy, Greece is one of three countries identified by Switzerland in 2019 for cooperation under the migration framework credit. In 2021 Switzerland and Greece formally expressed their mutual interest in pursuing such cooperation. The negotiations were officially completed in July of this year. The Federal Council recently approved the underlying documents - the implementation agreement and its annex - on 23 September. This agreement with Greece is the first to be signed under the migration framework credit.

Strengthening of bilateral relations

The migration framework credit is aimed at reinforcing migration management structures in Europe. The CHF 40 million allocated to Greece will be used to support projects and programmes by Greek agencies and organisations involved in migration issues. These will cover all four subject areas of the migration framework credit: asylum, infrastructure, integration, and voluntary return and reintegration. Switzerland's cooperation will not only help improve security within the Schengen area but also reinforce the structures of EU member states with external borders exposed to high migratory pressure.

The Swiss contribution focuses on areas where the partner country has substantial needs and where Switzerland's own experience and expertise can bring added value. Swiss subject-matter experts may also be involved at an operational level. Support measures under the cooperation programme are scheduled to begin in 2023 and run until the end of 2026.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Luxembourg, attended by both Federal Councillor Keller-Sutter and her Greek counterpart, Notis Mitarachi.

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