Author: reliefweb.int | 2 August 2020
New regulations introduced by the Greek government on the functioning of civil society organizations risk undermining their independence and further shrink the space for civil society, particularly for organizations that act to defend the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In the midst of an increasingly hostile climate for asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants, and those who try to assist them, Amnesty International is concerned that the new rules threaten the right to freedom of association in Greece.
With the adoption on 14 April 2020 of the Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) No 3063 on the operation of the Registry of Greek and foreign NGOs that operate in the areas of asylum, migration and social integration in Greece, and on the Registry of their members, Greek authorities have tightened up the requirements imposed on organisations and individuals to be able to operate in Greece. While both registries were originally established in October 2018 and February 2020, respectively, the JMD introduces new administrative requirements which are liable to affect organisations’ ability to continue to operate freely in Greece. These requirements are in addition to the statutory conditions that all NGOs in Greece must fulfil in order to acquire legal status and are only imposed on those organisations which work on asylum, migration and social integration.