Border Management and Migration Controls in GREECE Report
This report presents and analyses the legal system, policies and practices regarding border management and migration control in Greece as a EU and Schengen member state. Since 2011, border management and migration control have significantly expanded in the country. A significant number of events and transformations formed the context of the period in question (2011-2018) such as: the Integrated Border Management Program for Combating Illegal Immigration (2011); the adoption of the Law 3907/2011 regarding the Establishment of an Asylum Service and a First Reception Service; the construction of the Evros fence; the increased arrivals since 2015; the closure of the so-called Western Balkans Corridor; the Joint EU–Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016; the adoption of the Law 4375/2016; and the Hotspot Approach and the Hotspot implementation; and the geographical restriction in the north- eastern Aegean islands.
The overall aim of this report is to present both the legal framework related to border management and migration control in Greece, as well as the complex aspects of its implementation. More specifically, it analyzes the relevant laws as they are formulated through the integration of European regulations and directives into Greek legislation as well as by national initiatives for the formation of the Greek legal system. It also sheds light on key aspects of the implementation of laws and policies on border management and immigration control as they emerged from field research and the review of the relevant literature. Additionally the report presents the main key discourses that have shaped public debate and narratives in Greece on policy issues regarding borders and migration control, by analyzing the views of different politicians who played an important role during the study period.
The report concludes that in terms of implementation, border management and migration control in Greece seem to have significantly intensified during the period in question compared to the previous years. Additionally a crucial gap emerges between the legal framework and its implementation in the country, due to their important differences; a gap between “the laws and real life” (see below).
The methodology of research combined multiple methods such as an in-depth review of legal documents for the analysis of the Greek legal framework and its comparison to EU legislation, review of the literature and the reports of a wide range of institutions and actors, data review from governmental authorities, discourse’ analysis, and also semi-structured interviews with executives and employees of authorities, international organizations and NGOs. The interviews, 15 in total, were conducted in Lesvos Island and Athens from June 2018 to December 2018.
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