equal-rights.org | 11 October 2022
THE STATE OF THE BORDER PROCEDURE ON THE GREEK ISLANDS
The “fast-track border procedure” on the Greek islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos, initially framed as a derogation from standard procedural rules reserved for exceptional circumstances of “mass arrivals” and set up with a view to implementing the EU-Turkey Statement, ran uninterrupted from spring 2016 to the end of 2021. It has accounted for almost half of the country’s asylum caseload, far above any country applying border procedures in the EU.
Τhis report examines the workings of border procedures implemented on the Greek islands over the past year (June 2021 – June 2022), revealing new concerns tied to poor quality of asylum procedures and to breaches of fundamental rights. These add to an abundant body of international criticism of the Greek asylum system and merit close scrutiny, not least in the context of ongoing EU-level negotiations on the reform of the Common European Asylum System.