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The Greek response to the migration challenge: 2015-2017

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitris SkleparisORCiD



This is the final published version of a report that has been published in its final definitive form by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V., 2017.

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• The SYRIZA-led coalition government attempted to perform a 180-degree turn from the rather restrictive migration and asylum policies of the previous governments. • Very few of the SYRIZA/ANEL coalition government’s pledges actually materialised. The long-promised policy shift was rather designed to fail as it was largely symbolic and paid no consideration to the broader context and changing policy dynamics. • The closure of the ‘Western Balkan route’ and the activation of the EU-Turkey Statement in March 2016 interrupted the government’s attempted U-turn. • In order to make the EU-Turkey Statement operable in the country, the government introduced laws that tightened Greece’s asylum, detention, deportation, and external border controls policies anew. • These very laws also brought to the fore the issue of refugee integration into the Greek society. Designing and delivering measures for the integration of international protection beneficiaries and applicants appears to be particularly challenging in the current state of play. • Three pressing issues will have to be addressed sooner or later in 2017 by the Greek State: improvement of first reception and accommodation conditions; acceleration of the examination of the international protection, relocation, and family reunification applications; integration of international protection beneficiaries and applicants in the labour market. • The extent to which these issues will be effectively addressed depends on the ability of the Greek government and the EU to surpass certain well-known structural obstacles.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Skleparis D

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: KAS katoptron

Year: 2017

Online publication date: 16/03/2017

Acceptance date: 01/02/2017

Report Number: 05

Institution: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

Place Published: Athens