Reception Conditions

Greece

Country Report: Reception Conditions Last updated: 30/05/22

Author

Greek Council for Refugees Visit Website

The Chapter: Reception Conditions in Greece contains sections on:

A. Access and forms of reception conditions

  1. Criteria and restrictions to access reception conditions
  2. Forms and levels of material reception conditions
  3. Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions
  4. Freedom of movement

B. Housing

  1. Types of accommodation
  2. Conditions in reception facilities

C. Employment and education

  1. Access to the labour market
  2. Access to education

D. Health care

E. Special reception needs of vulnerable persons

F. Information for asylum seekers and access to reception centres

  1. Provision of information on reception
  2. Access to reception centres by third parties

G. Differential treatment of specific nationalities in reception

 

In May 2018, L 4540/2018 transposed the recast Reception Conditions Directive into national law, almost three years after the transposition deadline set by the Directive. In 2019 L 4540/2018 was replaced by the IPA, which entered into force on 1 January 2020 and was amended in May by L. 4686/2020.

As per the IPA, the Reception and Identification Service (RIS) and the Directorate for the Protection of Asylum Seekers (DPAS) within the Secretariat General of Migration Policy, Reception and Asylum, which were once more transferred under the Ministry of Migration and Asylum (MoMA), when the latter was reinstated in January 2020, remain  the responsible authorities for reception.[1] Furthermore, by January 2021, the ESTIA accommodation scheme, which provides rented housing to vulnerable asylum applicants in Greece, in the context of reception, has been fully handed over to the Greek state and is since operating under the sole responsibility of the MoMA.[2]

Overall, in 2021, island RICs – including the newly established Closed-Controlled Centers – and mainland camps, as well as the ESTIA scheme have remained the predominant forms of reception. Nevertheless, the announcement by the MoMA in February 2022 of the closure of ESTIA by the end of 2022, seems to indicate that large-scale camps will become the sole envisioned form of reception in the future.[3]

Lastly, following the establishment of the Special Secretary for Unaccompanied Minors (SSUM) under the MoMA in February 2020[4], and the entry into force of L. 4756/2020 in November of the same year, the SSUM remains the competent authority for the protection of UAM, including the accommodation of UAM, while EKKA, under the supervision of the Directorate for the Protection of Children and Families of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is inter alia responsible for the representation of UAM, including through the guardianship foreseen under L. 4554/2018,[5] which was yet to become operational by the end of 2021. As of 2021, the majority of UAM estimated to be in Greece are accommodated in dedicated shelters and Semi-Independent apartments (SILs).

 

 

 

[1] Article 41(h) L 4636/2019.

[2] For instance: MoMA, Press Release on ESTIA 2021, February 2021, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3uwgpjX.

[3] MoMA, “ESTIA II to be completed in 2022”, 22 February 2022, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3iGewf1.

[4] Article 1(3) P.D.18/2020, Gov. Gazette 34/Α/19-2-2020.

[5] Articleς 13 & 14 L.4756/2020.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation