Fact-finding visits

Reports of ECRE country missions

AIDA fact-finding visits have been developed as a focused approach to addressing particular challenges relating to asylum in specific countries covered by the database. Through the direct presence of ECRE and relevant partners in the countries concerned, these visits collect information from the field support the broader country information process by providing targeted research.

Here you can find links to the reports of country missions conducted in the framework of AIDA:

  • Seeking refuge in Poland: A fact-finding report on access to asylum and reception conditions for asylum seekers, April 2023: This report analyses practices at Polish borders and their implications for access to asylum and the reception conditions provided within the country. It also focuses on detention conditions for asylum seekers, an issue civil society stakeholders have raised as an area of concern in the country. It follows a mission that ECRE conducted in November 2022.
  • Airport procedures in Germany: Gaps in quality and compliance with guarantees, May 2019: This report analyses the border procedure at the airport applied by Germany pursuant to Section 18a of its Asylum Act, with a focus on compliance with procedural guarantees and the quality of determination of who is entitled to enter the territory and who ought to be refused entry into the country. It follows a mission that ECRE conducted in April 2019.
  • The AnkER centres: Implications for asylum procedures, reception and return, April 2019​ : This report analyses the model for Arrival, Decision and Municipal Distribution or Return (“AnkER”) centres implemented in the Federal State of Bavaria since August 2018 with the aim to increase efficiency and speed up the procedure by concentrating all actors involved in the processing of asylum applications at locations where asylum seekers are accommodated. It follows a mission that ECRE conducted in April 2019.
  • Access to asylum and detention at France's borders, June 2018: People fleeing persecution and conflict who manage to reach France by air or sea may find themselves subjected to consecutive forms of deprivation of liberty.This report presents the outcomes of a fact-finding visit to France conducted by ECRE between 23 and 27 April 2018, with a focus on deprivation of liberty and access to asylum at the border.
  • Balkan Route Reversed: The Return of Asylum Seekers to Croatia under the Dublin System, December 2016: This report presents the findings of a visit to Croatia conducted at the end of 2016 by ECRE. It examines the state of refugee status determination procedures and reception conditions available to asylum seekers, including those returned under the Dublin system, and provides an overview of the challenges underlying the work of relevant stakeholders protecting and assisting refugees on the ground.
  • With Greece: Recommendations for Refugee Protection, July 2016: The report, which follows a field visit to the country between in June 2016, finds that refugees in Greece continue to face challenges in accessing asylum due to increased complexity and procedural layers, a lack of simple and unequivocal information, as well as significant gaps in legal assistance. It also emphasises the need for international organisations to be mindful of the long present efforts of Greek lawyers and NGOs in the field, and recommends that new initiatives should be targeted and sustainable.
  • Navigating the Maze: Structural Barriers to Accessing Protection in Austria, December 2015: This report reveals obstacles to accessing protection in Austria and documents the shortcomings in the reception system. It finds severe restrictions on asylum seekers’ access to the procedure, stemming from severe delays in even the first stages of registration as well as from the legal formalities attached to registration. It follows a visit to Austria conducted by ECRE at the beginning of December 2015.
  • Crossing Boundaries: The New Asylum Procedure at the Border and Restrictions to Accessing Protection in Hungary, October 2015: This report provides an overview of the border procedure applied at the Hungarian border and the conditions facing asylum seekers in the new transit zones. It follows a mission conducted in September 2015. The report concludes that by shutting off access to protection through physical and legal barriers, the Hungarian asylum system contravenes international refugee law and EU asylum law.
  • What's in a name? The reality of First "Reception" at Evros, Fact-Finding Visit in Greece, February 2015: This report show that the Greek system of referral of third country nationals to the appropriate procedures (known as ‘first reception’), coupled with a dramatic lack of reception places, results in practice in asylum seekers and migrants, including children, being held in detention, often for prolonged periods. It follows a visit conducted by ECRE to the Fylakio First ‘Reception’ Centre and the adjacent Fylakio Detention Centre in the Evros region in December 2014.