From first reception center to pre-removal facilities – Supreme Administrative court of Greece decides that Turkey is a safe third country : Schwerpunktwoche Herbsttagung Netzwerk Migrationsrecht 2017
Since the entry into force of the “EU-Turkey Deal” on 20 March 2016, the Greek Hotspots have fundamentally transformed their function from the initial reception centres they were originally intended to be, to deportation centres. This follows from the first formulation of the statement published as a press release. Under the statement, persons who cross irregularly from Turkey to Greece after 20 March 2016 are to be returned to Turkey. The Supreme Administrative Court of Greece “Council of State” (CoS) ruled on 22 September 2017 that Turkey is a so-called “safe third country” in two cases of Syrian refugees seeking international protection to the eastern Aegean islands coming from Turkey. They moved to the CoS following a negative decision by the Greek Asylum Authority. Although the judgment concerns individual cases, it is groundbreaking. It mainly concerns the legality of accelerated border procedures implemented in the Hotspots, the integration of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the concept of the “safe third country”.