As of May, this year, Greek authorities have made new requirements for all organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. Even before, there have been requirements to register and be approved as an active organisation by the Ministry of Asylum and Migration, but now the requirements for documentation are being tightened further. Among other things, there will be requirements for quality certification, the organisation must have a Greek tax number, and be able to document accounting and auditor’s statements dating two years back. In addition, there are new requirements for our volunteer field workers to be able to work in Greece.
According to the Greek authorities, the new rules are needed for greater transparency and accountability, while many argue that the new rules also discriminate because the requirements they impose are almost impossible to implement by smaller civil society organisations.
A Drop in the Ocean has so far been one of only 13 “non-Greek” organisations approved by the Greek authorities. However, regarding the new rules, we do need to go through a new application process. It is very time consuming to collect and translate all the documentation needed working with short deadlines. It also takes a lot of time to put in place new procedures for recruiting field workers who now needs to sign up for at least four weeks. But, we are working very hard these days to get everything in place according to the new rules.
And we are quite positive that we will reach our goals to continue our work for displaced persons, both inside and outside Greek refugee camps.