A Presidential Decree establishing the transitional procedure to be followed for all pending asylum applications in Greece has been published on 22 November in Greece’s Official Journal. The backlog of 7,000 pending first instance claims and 47,000 pending second instance claims will be dealt with through this procedure.
These pending asylum claims will be examined by 14 regional police departments situated in geographic districts with a high concentration of asylum seekers. Normal procedures will last up to six months and accelerated procedures will be limited to three months. The decree sets out also the creation of independent special 3-person appeal committees with no participation of police officers.
Also a draft of the new asylum law establishing procedures for the examination of new asylum applications will be presented to the Parliament in the near future. The text of the new asylum law is available for submissions until the 26 November 2010. This draft law is part of Greece’s National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management.
At the First European Asylum Support Office Board Meeting, held in Malta on 25-26 November, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said that one of the priorities should be supporting Greece in implementing its National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management.