A win for the insurance rights of the second generation but severe shortcomings in other regulations

After our interventions via filing a report to the Greek Ombudsman, notices and letters, it appears that the social security rights of third-country nationals and their children will be upheld.

An amendment tabled in Parliament on Friday and scheduled to be voted today includes a regulation equalizing the social security rights of the children of migrants with those of the children of Greek citizens. Based on this regulation, children of migrants will be able to be insured under their parents as dependents, even after they come of age and until the age of 24 or if they are studying, for 2 years after they complete their studies, provided they are unemployed, but not beyond they age of 26. Thus, the discrimination based on origin that the second generation has suffered even if they are Greek citizens is coming to an end.

Although the only recently passed provision of L.4529 / 2018, which defined this right differently, is not being repealed, we hope that with today’s amendment we are one step closer to equal treatment. Noting here that the equal treatment of legally residing third-country nationals with respect to their social security rights is a European acquis as it results from an EU directive which has been incorporated into Greek law, defined specifically in the Immigration Code.

In addition to the above, this amendment also redefines the fees of several residence permits. Although this is a move in the right direction as it significantly reduces the fee of several residence permits, it only concerns the residence permits foreseen in the European directives, as it is in result to a formal notice by the EU. This single strategy approach excludes the other types of permits including that of the second generation. Meaning, we have a situation where the children of migrants who were born here or that came here at an early age pay double the fees than that of their parents.

The amendment also foresees an increase or in some cases the creation of fines in some procedures, such as the disproportionately high fee (100 euros) for the re-issue of a residence permit, meaning in the cases where a migrant renews their passport.

Generation 2.0 RED calls the reduction of the fees of the other residence permits, the removal of disproportionate fines and for the fees to be used for the financing of the understaffed services and for inclusion activities. Besides, based on the reasoning of the EU Court of Justice, which refers to the actual cost of processing the applications, the nature of the fees should be contributory.