Article 12B-ter of the Refugee Law defines safe country of origin with reference to the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. This includes countries set out in a common EU list, as well as the possibility to designate additional countries based on a range of sources of information, as per Article 37 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.
The “safe country of origin” concept may be used as a ground for channelling the application in the accelerated procedure.
The safe country of origin was used for the first time in mid-2019 with the issuance of a Ministerial Decision determining Georgia as such a country and initiated, also for the first time, the use of accelerated procedures to examine asylum applications submitted by Georgians (see section on Accelerated Procedure). The new list, increasing the number of safe countries of origin from 1 to 21, was published in May 2020,, with the intention to utilise widely the accelerated procedures. However, in practice it was not used as much as expected. In May 2021, the number of countries listed as safe was once again increased, going from 21 to 29. For what was observed, however, there was no significant increase in the use of accelerated procedures.
 While the recast Asylum Procedures Directive currently provides no legal basis for an EU list, this could be done through the adoption of the Commission proposal for a Regulation establishing a common EU list of safe countries of origin.
 Article 12Δ(1) Refugee Law.
 Based on information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.
 Ministerial Decision on Safe Countries, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3tyT40M. The countries included in the updated list are:1. Egypt; 2. Albania; 3. Algeria; 4. Armenia; 5. Vietnam; 6. Northern Macedonia; 7. Bosnia and Herzegovina; 8. Georgia; 9. Gambia; 10. Ghana; 11. India; 12. Kenya; 13. Kosovo; 14. Morocco; 15. Montenegro; 16. Mongolia; 17. Moldova; 18. Bangladesh; 19. Benin; 20. Nepal; 21. Nigeria; 22. Ukraine (excluding Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk regions); 23. Pakistan; 24. Senegal; 25. Serbia; 26. Sri Lanka; 27. Togo; 28. Tunisia; 29. Philippines. Ukraine is still included in the list despite the start of the conflict and the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive.
 Based on cases reviewed by the Cyprus Refugee Council.