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4.1.2.3. Online appointment systems for the registration of applications for international protection

4.1.2.3. Online appointment systems for the registration of applications for international protection

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Circular 5049/2022 introduced a new registration procedure for first-time applicants in Greece. The Skype service was discontinued, and instead applicants could make an appointment through an online platform either in Thessaloniki or Attica. Applicants undergo a reception and identification procedure in a Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) or a Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC), and they are required to stay in the facility throughout this process, for a maximum of 25 days.Υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης καιΑσύλου, Εγκύκλιος μεθέμα «Καταγραφή αιτημάτων διεθνούς προστασίας απότα ΠΓΑ/ΑΚΑτης Υπηρεσίας Ασύλου» [Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Circular on registration of applications for international protection by the Regional Asylum Offices/ Independent Asylum Units of the Asylum Service], August 31, 2022. https://migration.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Εγκύκλιος-καταγραφή… Civil society organisations observed that this period was often longer in practice as a 5-day quarantine period applied (see Section 4.7) and noted that this practice was de facto detention (see Section 4.8).Greek Council for Refugees | Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες. (2023). Input to the Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/greek_council_for_re…; Network for Children's Rights | Δίκτυο για τα Δικαιώματα του Παιδιού. (2023). Input to the Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/network_for_children… Civil society organisations also observed several barriers in accessing the asylum procedure for subsequent applicants or for applicants coming from a safe third country (see Sections 2 and 4.3).Refugee Support Aegean (2022, November 10). The state of the border procedure on the Greek islands. Refugee Support Aegean. https://rsaegean.org/en/border-procedure-greek-islands; Refugee Support Aegean. (2022). Briefing. Systematic breaches of the rule of law and of the EU asylum acquis at Greece’s land and sea borders. https://rsaegean.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Greece_CSO_Briefing_LIB… ,AIDA Greece. (2023). Country Report: Greece - 2022 Update. Edited by ECRE. Written by the Greek Council for Refugees.https://asylumineurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/AIDA-GR_2022-Upda…

The Spanish Jesuit Refugee Service,Jesuit Migrant Service Spain | Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes. (2023). Input to Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/servicio_jesuita_a_m… Convive-Fundación CepaimCepaim Foundation | Fundación Cepaim. (2023). Input to the Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/convive_fundacion_ce…  and CEARSpanish Commission for Refugee Aid | Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado. (2023). Input to the Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/cear_spanish_commiss…; in Spain observed issues in accessing the asylum procedure since the establishment of an online appointment system for the registration of applications. Appointments were often available only after several weeks, and many applicants had difficulties in navigating the website, which was available only in Spanish.Cepaim Foundation | Fundación Cepaim. (2023). Input to the Asylum Report 2023. https://euaa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2023-02/convive_fundacion_ce…  SOS Racism reported on a technical failure which resulted in appointment requests getting lost.Levante. El mercantil valenciano (2022, February 11). Denuncian ante fiscalía el colapso de las citas de asilo en València [Complaints to the Prosecutor's Office regarding the collapse of asylum appointments in Valencia]. https://www.levante-emv.com/comunitat-valenciana/2022/11/02/asilo-citas… UNHCR reiterated its concern about accessing the asylum procedure.El País (2022, May 16). La representante de Acnur en España: “Los recursos para pedir asilo no están a la altura” [UNHCR's Representative in Spain "The resources to request asylum are not up to the task]. https://elpais.com/espana/2022-05-16/la-representante-de-acnur-en-espan…  The Spanish Ombudsperson underlined the impact these delays had on associated rights for applicants, such as access to housing, medical care, psychosocial support and other social benefits.Spanish Ombudsperson | Defensor Del Pueblo. (2022, August 3). Dificultades para concertar cita previa a fin de solicitar asilo [Difficulties to book appointments to apply for asylum]. https://www.defensordelpueblo.es/resoluciones/dificultades-para-concert…