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 In 2019 L 4540/2018 has been replaced by the IPA, which entered into force on 1 January 2020.
L 4540/2018 reformed the authorities responsible for the reception of asylum seekers. Further reform was introduced following the national election as of July 2019. In 2018, the Reception and Identification Service (RIS) and the Directorate for the Protection of Asylum Seekers (DPAS) within the Secretariat General of Migration Policy under the Ministry of Migration Policy (MoMP), where relevant, have been appointed as the responsible authorities for reception.
Following the merge of the MoMP with the Ministry of Citizen Protection (MoCP) and the transfer of responsibility for migration and asylum policy to the MoCP by the new Government elected in July 2019, both the RIS and DPAS have been transferred within the Secretariat General of Migration Policy, Reception and Asylum, under the new Ministry of Citizen Protection. Οn 15 January 2020, the MoMP has been reinstalled (Ministry of Migration and Asylum- MoMA). The SG of Migration Policy, Reception and Asylum, as well as the Special Secretariat on Reception, alongside relevant Services, have been transferred under the new MoMA.
The Directorate General for Social Solidarity (DGSS) of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has been appointed as the responsible authority for the protection, including the provision of reception conditions, of unaccompanied and separated minors. More precisely, through its Directorate for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, the National Centre for Social Solidarity (Εθνικό Κέντρο Κοινωνικής Αλληλεγγύης, EKKA), under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs receives and processes referrals for the accommodation of unaccompanied and separated children.
Moreover, the UNHCR accommodation scheme as part of the “ESTIA” programme, in collaboration with DPAS, also received and processed relevant referrals for vulnerable asylum seekers eligible to be hosted under the scheme in 2019.
As of the 1st of January 2020, when the IPA entered into force, the relevant provisions of L 4540/2018 have been repealed. However, no changes have taken place with respect to the competencies of the aforementioned authorities. As per article 41(h) IPA, the RIS and DPAS remain responsible for reception, while article 60(3) IPA maintains DGSS as the competent authority for the protection of unaccompanied minors, while explicitly referring to the latter’s collaboration with EKKA “or other authorities based on their competencies”, towards this purpose.
The Chapter: Reception Conditions in Greece contains sections on: