Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions


Country Report: Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions Last updated: 08/06/23


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There are several scenarios.

Firstly, reception conditions may be reduced or in exceptional and specifically justified cases withdrawn, following a decision of the competent reception authority, where applicants: [1]

  • If provided with accommodation in the context of reception, abandon said accommodation without informing the competent administration or without permission or abandon the geographical location of residence which has been determined for them by the competent authority under article 49 (2) Asylum Code (see geographical restriction);
  • Do not comply with the obligation to report personal information, such as address and employment contracts, or do not attend in person or do not respond to requests for information or do not attend, in the process of the examination of their application for international protection, a personal interview within the deadline set by the receiving and examining authorities;
  • Have lodged a Subsequent Application;

In cases (a) and (b), when the applicant is located or voluntarily presents themselves before the competent authority, a specially justified decision, assessing the reasons of abandonment, is taken with respect to the renewal, in part or in full, of the provision of the material reception conditions that were reduced or withdrawn.

Secondly, the competent Reception Authority reduces material reception conditions, when it finds that the applicant, without justifiable reason, has not submitted an application for international protection as soon as possible after their arrival on the Greek territory.

Thirdly, the competent Reception Authority withdraws material reception conditions, when it is established that the applicant has concealed financial resources and has, as a consequence, illegitimately taken advantage of the material reception conditions.

Moreover, in cases of serious breach of the Operating Regulations of the accommodation centres, which disturbs the smooth operation of the centres and the coexistence of the people in them, especially when demonstrating particularly violent behaviour, material conditions are withdrawn as a sanction. At the same time, the competent Police Director and, in the case of the General Police Directorates of Attica and Thessaloniki, the Police Director responsible for aliens is immediately informed, in order to ascertain whether there is a case of application of paragraph 2d or par. 3 of article 50 of this Code. In the case of UAMs, the competent Reception Authority must, before imposing the interruption of accommodation, contact the assistance services and/or the judicial authorities responsible for the protection of UAMs, to ensure the placement of the minor in a structure appropriate for his/her needs and to order other potential relief measures, if this is justified by the circumstances.

Lastly, material reception conditions may be reduced in accordance with article 61 in cases where minor applicants and the minor children of the applicants do not comply with the obligation to enrol and attend school (primary and secondary education of the public system of education), due to an unwillingness to integrate into the education system.[2]

Article 61 (5) of the Asylum Code provides that the decision to reduce or withdraw material reception conditions or the decision imposing the sanction of para. 4, is taken by the competent Reception Authority on an individual and objective basis and must be justified. It also provides that the special situation of the person concerned, particularly if vulnerable, is to be taken into account and that the decision to reduce or withdraw material reception conditions should not obstruct the applicant’s access to medical and pharmaceutical care, in accordance with article 59 (2) of the Asylum Code, or make it impossible for them to access basic means that ensure a dignified standard of living. Lastly, the same article also provides that the decision to reduce or withdraw material reception conditions or to impose the sanction of par. 4 is to be communicated to the applicant in a language they understand.

As per article 61(6), material reception conditions cannot be withdrawn or reduced before the aforementioned decision is taken. The procedure to be followed is laid down in the General Regulation of Temporary Reception and Temporary Accommodation Facilities for third country nationals or stateless persons under the responsibility of the RIS (Γενικός Κανονισμός Λειτουργίας Δομών Προσωρινής Υποδοχής και Δομών Προσωρινής Φιλοξενίας πολιτών τρίτων χωρών ή ανιθαγενών, που λειτουργούν με μέριμνα της Υπηρεσίας Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης) and the General Regulation for the Operation of Reception and Identification Centres and Mobile Reception and Identification Units (Γενικός Κανονισμός Λειτουργίας Κέντρων Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης και Κινητών Μονάδων Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης). In the first case, the procedure foresees: (a) a written warning and (b) a reasoned decision reducing or withdrawing material reception conditions, while in the second case a three-step procedure is foreseen, consisting of (a) an oral recommendation, (b) a written warning and (c) the interruption of accommodation as long as reception and identification procedures have been completed.[3]

Lastly, a new regulation covering the newly established Closed-Controlled Facilities on the islands was issued in 2021. This regulation inter alia foresees the possibility to terminate accommodation and withdraw material reception if applicants are unjustifiably not identified during the regular census-verification of the resident population for two consecutive times,[4] albeit no separate procedure is foreseen.

Between June and December 2020, reception conditions were withdrawn in the case of 4,957 people, 2,964 of whom were accommodated in camps, and 2.033 in the ESTIA accommodation scheme (2,033), following status recognition or after a second instance negative decision. Data on decisions reducing or withdrawing material reception conditions have since not been provided by the MoMA, even though GCR has requested it.

Applicants have the right to lodge an appeal (προσφυγή) against decisions that reduce or withdraw reception conditions before the Administrative Courts. In the case of appeal before the Courts, applicants also have a right to free legal aid and representation.[5] However, as explained further below, the remedy provided by this provision is not available in practice.




[1] Article 61 (1), (2), (3) and (4) of Asylum Code.

[2] Article 55 (2) Asylum Code.

[3] Article 18 (1) Ministerial Decision 23/13532/2020, Gov. Gazette, 5272/Β’/30.11.2020 and article 10(1) Joint Ministerial Decision 1/7433/10-6-2019, Gov. Gazette 2219/B/10.6.2019.

[4] Article 7 (2) Decision 25.0/118832 of the General Secretary of Reception of the MoMA, Gov. Gazette 3191/B/ 20.7.21.

[5] Article 118 (1) and (2) Asylum Code.

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