NewsPublished: 12 October 2022

EUAA presents practical tool on design and management of reception facilities

design and management of reception facilities

The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has recently published a practical tool on the design and management of modular reception facilities. In line with its 2021 Strategy on Reception, this guide aims at supporting the national and regional authorities in designing and building reception centres based on modular housing units according to the Agency’s standards and guidelines.

The EUAA has seen a recent increase in applications for international protection and observed three consecutive months in which over 70,000 asylum applications were recorded (May – July 2022). It is becoming increasingly clear that the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has an operational responsibility to support the Member States with reception, when asked to do so.

In this latest publication, an EUAA Modular Approach to Reception, the Agency outlines 9 principles for the design and management of a reception centre that Member States should follow when setting up such facilities, including:

  • An organic design: Centres can be organised around a central circle, from which roads depart; with accommodation zones, centralised and decentralised services, as well as an administration area. Grid-based layouts should be avoided.
  • A uniform layout: the practical tool presents standard accommodation areas, based on two-floor blocks with sanitary facilities on each floor. A large common space in the centre can serve as a common area for meals and social activities.
  • Modular housing units based on EUAA standards: These units can, for example, be based on 22m² containers based on the ISO 30 standard, housing a maximum of 4 to 5 residents. These constitute the “building blocks” of accommodation areas.
You can learn more about the other design principles and review the EUAA’s practical tool here.



Since 2020, the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has been increasingly involved in reception and has been requested, on several occasions, to provide support with the site design and the planning of EU-funded centres for applicants to ensure they were planned and built according to EUAA standards and indicators. The work on the modular approach to reception and reception site design began in 2021, in dedicated working groups made up of EU+ experts from the EUAA Reception Network.

The EUAA is now providing operational support in 12 EU Member States, as well Moldova. EUAA support to reception is increasingly becoming a focus of the EUAA Member States’ operations.


Share this article: