Reception Conditions


Country Report: Reception Conditions Last updated: 10/06/21


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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.

L 4540/2018 reformed the authorities responsible for the reception of asylum seekers. Further reforms were 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 General Secretariat 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 GS 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 UNHCR accommodation scheme as part of the “ESTIA” programme, in collaboration with DPAS, received and processed relevant referrals for vulnerable asylum seekers eligible to be hosted under the scheme in 2019 , and in 2020, albeit as of 1 January 2021, the Greek state has undertaken responsibility of the ESTIA scheme, which will be operating under the competence of the RIS, as per the new organisation of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum .

As of the 1 January 2020, when the IPA entered into force, the relevant provisions of L 4540/2018 have been repealed. However, no changes initially took 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 maintained GDSS 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.

Following the establishment of the Special Secretary for Unaccompanied Minors (SSUM) under the MoMA in February 2020 , and the entry into force of L. 4756/2020 in November of the same year, the SSUM has become 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, which has yet to become operational as of the time of writing.


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

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