ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ASYLUM SERVICE AND APPEALS AUTHORITY (Law 4375 / PART ONE / CHAPTER I)

Law 4375 (Country: Greece)

On the organization and operation of the Asylum Service, the Appeals Authority, the Reception and Identification Service, the establishment of the General Secretariat for Reception, the transposition into Greek legislation of the provisions of Directive 2013/32/EC “on common procedures for granting and withdrawing the status of international protection (recast(” (L 180/29.6.2013), provisions on the employment of beneficiaries of international protection and other provisions

Content of the law –  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

PART ONE

CHAPTER I

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ASYLUM SERVICE AND APPEALS AUTHORITY

Article   1

Setting up – mission – composition

1. Within the Ministry of the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction operates an autonomous Service, entitled “Asylum Service”, as it is established by article 1 of law 3907/2011 (O.G. A’ 7), directly dependent on the Minister and with a territorial competence on the entire country. This Service operates as a Directorate and its mission is to apply the legislation on asylum and other forms of international protection for aliens and stateless persons, as well as to contribute to the development and the formulation of the national asylum policy. The Asylum Service is also competent for the application of the New York Convention of 28 September 1954 on the legal status of stateless persons.

2.  The Asylum Service, in the context of its mission shall be, in particular, competent to:

a. Contribute to the drafting and formulating of the country’s policy regarding the granting of asylum or other forms of international protection and monitor and evaluate such implementation,

b. Receive, examine and adjudicate at first instance on applications for international protection,

c. Inform applicants for international protection of the examination procedure for their applications, including the rights and obligations under this,

d. Collect and assess information on the economic, social and political situation of countries of origin of aliens and constantly monitor developments in these countries, in cooperation with other Greek or foreign authorities competent for this purpose, especially under relevant international agreements,

e. Provide aliens who are applicants for international protection, as well as beneficiaries of international protection, with the stipulated legal and travel documents,

f. Process the applications for family reunification of refugees

g. Facilitate applicants insofar as material reception conditions are concerned, in cooperation with the other competent services,

h. Prepare draft legislative texts and administrative acts in matters of its competence,

i. Cooperate with State institutions, independent authorities and non-governmental organizations, European Union bodies and institutions and international organizations in order to effectively fulfill its mission,

j. Prepare and implement resettlement programs for refugees to third countries and

k. Implement relocation programs for applicants for international protection

3. The Asylum Service shall be composed of the Central Service and the Regional Asylum Services. Regional Asylum Services include Regional Asylum Offices and the Autonomous Asylum Units and shall be dependent on the Central Service. The Central Service plans, directs, monitors and controls the action of Regional Services and ensures the presence of the necessary conditions for the exercise of their tasks.

It is hereby established Regional Asylum Offices in Attica, Thessaloniki, Thraki, Epirus, Thessaly, Western Greece, Crete, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Rhodes. By decision of the Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction it is possible to set up more than one Regional Asylum Offices in the above areas, in order to cover the needs of the Asylum Service.

By decision of the Director of the Asylum Service it is possible to set up Autonomous Asylum Units in order to cover increased needs of the Asylum Service; the same decision shall define the seat, territorial and material competence as well as all other relevant details. Furthermore, in order to cover very urgent needs of a temporary nature, it is possible to set up, with a similar decision, Mobile Asylum Units whose structure, mission, staffing and all other relevant details shall be determined in the said decision.

The entry into force of Regional Asylum Offices and the location of their their seat shall be established by decision of the Director of the Asylum Service.

4. The Central Asylum Service shall have the following internal structure:

a. Department of International and European Cooperation: it shall follow and assess the developments in the field of asylum and other forms of international protection, and shall be entrusted with representing the country at European and international level on matters pertaining to the competences of the Service.

b. Legal Department: it shall prepare and draft the necessary legislative and more generally regulatory texts and circulars and provide legal support to the Service on matters pertaining to its competence.

c. Department of Coordination: it shall be competent to coordinate the activities of the Regional Asylum Offices and organize and supervise the Mobile Asylum Units. It shall be in charge of liaising and cooperating with the Regional Services of the Reception and Identification Service and with other competent State services and independent authorities as well as with other civil society institutions and legal entities, shall maintain lists of accredited institutions, interpreters and lawyers providing legal aid to applicants for international protection.

d. Department of the Dublin National Unit: it shall ensure the implementation of Regulation 604/2013 of the European Parliament and Council from 26.6.2013 and any other relevant legislation and shall collaborate with the other concerned government agencies.

e. Department of Human Resources: it shall be competent to deal with matters of appointment, secondment, transfer, movement, disposal, skills, evaluation, promotion, leave of absence, disciplinary actions and other Asylum Service’s personnel issues and to issue the relevant administrative acts.

f. Department of Training, Quality Assurance and Documentation: it shall organize the initial and continuous training of the Service’s personnel in order to ensure quality for the asylum services provided by Regional Asylum Services and shall evaluate the quality of international protection decisions at first instance. It shall search, collect, evaluate and keep information on the political, social and economic situation of the countries of origin of applicants for international protection and, to this end, in shall cooperate with other concerned national authorities, relevant foreigner, European or international organizations, in particular in the context of international agreements, other competent EU Member State authorities as well as the European Asylum Support Service.  It shall ensure the quality of international protection decisions issued during the administrative procedure of the examination of the application for international protection and shall keep statistical and other records of the international protection decisions.

g. Department of Finances: it shall draw up and implement the budget of the Asylum Service. It is competent to draft and authorize supplies for the Asylum Service and deal with matters pertaining to emoluments, indemnities and other form of payments to the staff, appointment of public accounting officials, the division, reapportioning and control of the movement of the permanent advance and all other relevant matter.

h. Department of Program Management and Implementation: It shall implement actions funded by European, institutional or other funds and be in charge of the programming, management, evaluation and implementation of these programs. The Department of Program Management and Implementation shall be composed of aa) the Office of Management, Programming, Evaluation and Support and bb) the Office of Program Implementation.

i. Department of Administrative and Technical Support: it shall be competent to deal with the smooth operation of the Asylum Service premises, including to find premises, to adapt them appropriately, to supervise their maintenance, manage supplies and keep records. It shall provide secretarial support to the Central Asylum Service and shall handle its correspondence. It shall be competent to supervise the safe entry and management of persons arriving at the Service, supervise the relevant personnel and take care of the security of the buildings and premises of the Service.

j. Department of Informatics: It shall support the information system of the Asylum Service, shall be responsible for its appropriate connection with data records kept by other public services or other relevant authorities of EU Member States, within the framework of relevant agreements and to collect, process and maintain statistical data provided by the Regional Asylum Offices and the Appeals Authority.

5. The Asylum Service shall be designated as the competent authority to issue authorization orders for material nationally considered as confidential for staff of the Asylum Service; it shall also be designated as the competent directorate on security matters within the context of the National Security Regulation for issues pertaining to the Asylum Service. The Asylum Service shall include a resident lieutenancy, as per the provisions of the National Security Regulation, whose person in charge is the head of the Department of Coordination of the Asylum Service.

 

Article 2

Staffing

1. It is hereby established, within the Asylum Service, the post of the Director. The Director shall be appointed by decision of the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, following a public call of interest, for a three-year term, which may be renewed once for a further period of three years. The Director shall be a person of recognized standing, with a university degree, with competence in management and specialization and/or experience in the and/or in the field of international protection, human rights or international law. The Director shall be in charge of the Asylum Service and shall be controlled by he Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction who may dismiss him/her before the end of his/her mandate either because s/he resigns or in case s/he is unable to perform his/her tasks or for any other serious reason related to the exercise of his/her duties. The remuneration of the Director shall be determined by joint decision of the Minister for Finances and the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Restructuring. If the person appointed as Director is an attorney-at-law, s/he must obligatorily suspend the exercise of his/her legal profession throughout his/her mandate. The exercise of any other public office by the Director during his/her term of office shall be suspended; s/he shall not carry out any other professional activity, shall not take up other remunerated tasks in the public or the private sector, nor take up any other non-remunerated task in a field related to his/her duties as Director. The Director shall be assisted by a secretariat, operating at a level of a unit, in whose context shall operate a Public Relations’ and Public Information Office, which shall be entrusted with communication, public information and public relations matters.

2. a) The Asylum Service shall be staffed by public civil servants who are transferred, moved or seconded from other services of the State, or of the public sector (Article 2 of Law 3861/2010 – O. G.  A’ 112) or of state legal entities or of the local government or are recruited as permanent staff or under an employment contract of indeterminate duration, in accordance with the provisions in force. Exceptionally, the Department of Coordination and the Department of the Dublin National Unit of the Asylum Service may be staffed by personnel seconded there by the Hellenic Police. For the purposes of filling of the posts the Director of the Service shall carry out a public call of interest. The transfers, movements and postings shall be made in derogation of existing provisions in order to meet the staffing needs of the Asylum Service. Priority shall be given to the transfer to the Asylum Service of staff from services of the state, the wider public sector (Article 2 of Law 3861/2010), public entities, or local government authorities, which are to be abolished or merged. The transfers shall be made to vacant posts or, if there is no vacancy, the post of the employee transferred shall also be transferred by a joint decision of competent Ministers, upon proposal of the Director of the Service. The public call from the Director of the Service shall identify the general and specific qualifications, the criteria and the selection process for those to be transferred; it shall not be required to apply the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 68 of Law 4002/2011 (O.G. A’. 180). The Service shall inform thereof, failing which the relevant act shall be null and void, the Commission set by the Act of the Government number 33/2006 (A’ 280) as amended, as well as the relevant departments of the Ministry for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction on the number and grades of the posts to be covered by the transfers. The transfer shall be made at the grade and salary step held by the person to be transferred who shall also retain the pension insurance scheme kept prior to transfer. The transfer shall be carried out by a joint decision of the competent ministers, according to paragraph 1 of article 68 of law 4002/2011 (O.G. A’ 180), notwithstanding any other general or special provision. Seconding of staff shall be carried out by a joint decision of the competent ministers, notwithstanding any other general or special provision, on a proposal from the Director of the Service, who shall assess the formal and substantial qualifications of the candidates; the same process shall take place when prolonging seconding such staff. Employees who are seconded to the Asylum Service, the Appeals Authority and the Reception and Identification Service may, upon request, be transferred to these Services under the same employment relationship and with the simultaneous transfer of their post if there is no vacant post and upon a recommendation of the competent Director. Secondment can take also place following a request by the person concerned without a public call of interest. Seconded employees shall receive the regular salary of their post. Such salary shall be borne by the budget of the Ministry, Office or Agency where the seconded employee belongs. If the seconded employee is entitled to a position allowance, because s/he has taken up the position of a head of unit or department, it shall be paid by the Asylum Service.

b. The Asylum Service may be staffed with personnel from the respective branch and category included in the final list of persons to be recruited established by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants or by bodies whose lists have been controlled by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants, published between 1.1.2009 and 31.12.2012 and if this personnel has not been recruited by the closing date for submission of applications to the public call of interest by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants. In his/her application, the applicant shall indicate in order of preference the positions s/he wants to take up and the application shall include a copy of the issue of the Official Gazette which has published the final list of appointees which includes his/her name; s/he shall also attach a solemn declaration that s/he has not been appointed or recruited on the basis of that list. The filling shall be carried out following a public call for applications to the persons concerned by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants at the request of the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Minister. The Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants shall make the selection from among the persons included in the older lists and final recruitment results will be based on the candidates’ ranking in them. The process will be completed upon issuance of the allocation decision by the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Minister, provided for in article 11 of law 3833/2010 (O.G. A’40), as in force. For the purposes of the above paragraph, the posts of specialized scientific personnel may, in case filling them with such staff is not possible, be covered with personnel recruited from the university level category with a degree in law, political, social, technological studies or humanities in accordance with the relevant call of interest, for the State, public entities or local authorities or other entities of the wider public sector (Article 2 of law 3861/2010) included in a final list for recruitment by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants or by bodies whose lists have been controlled by the said Council if this personnel has not been appointed by the closing date for submission of applications to the public call of interest by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants. In case a list from a written completion coincides in its date with other final recruitment lists, priority shall be given to the candidates included in the written competition lists. The list of persons selected by the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants shall be sent for publication in the Official Gazette and, at the same time, shall be notified directly to the Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction for appointment or recruitment.

Successful candidates who accepted their appointment and entered service at the Asylum Service, in accordance with the provisions of article 18, paragraph 3 of law 4058/2012 (O.G. A’ 63), shall be deleted from the final recruitment list they invoked in order to participate in the procedure to fill the specific post and the obligation to appoint resulting from it shall cease to be considered as pending. Persons who were appointed at the Asylum Service in accordance with the provisions of article 18 paragraph 3 of law 4058/2012, resigned and then were re-appointed in their original institution of appointment may opt either to stay with the original institution of appointment or be recruited again at the Asylum Service, or be recruited again at the Reception and Identification Service, after lodging a relevant request within a maximum of one (1) month from the publication of this law. The provisions of the preceding indent shall also apply to the cases of those who have been appointed to the Asylum Service and the First Reception Service in accordance with the provisions of article 18 paragraph 3 of law 4058/2012, resigned and then were re-appointed in their original institution of appointment but their appointment has been revoked by administrative decision, in order to be reinstated in the Asylum and First Reception Services.

3. The posts of the Asylum Service staff, by category and grade shall be as follows:

a. 235 posts for the grade of specialized scientific personnel or university degree in category Administration with a degree of law, political, social, technological sciences or humanities.

b. 74 posts in category Administration-Finances for university degree grade

c. 1 post in category Communication and Media for university degree grade

d. 4 posts in category IT for university degree grade

e. 20 posts in category Administration – Accounting for technical university degree grade

f. 4 posts in category IT for technical university degree grade

g. 182 posts in category Administration – Accounting for secondary education degree grade.

The qualifications for the specialized scientific staff shall be as stipulated in Article 2 of presidential decree 50/2001 (O.G. A’ 39). The Director of the Asylum Service shall, with a decision, place the staff within the Central Asylum Service and the Regional Asylum Services taking into account the call or invitation, the provisions in force as well as the needs of the Service.

4. In order to meet unforeseen and urgent needs created by a massive influx of third-country nationals or stateless persons, it is allowed to recruit staff in accordance with the provisions of article 20 of law 2190/1994 (O.G. A’ 28).

5. The Asylum Service may, in order to deal with exceptional and urgent needs and after decision of the Minister for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, operate around the clock, every day of the week, including Sundays, holidays and days that are set as exempt from work days, as well as in a shift rotation system, except when, such a change in the work schedule causes additional expenditure; in such a case, it shall require a joint decision by the Ministers of Finance and Interior and Administrative Reconstruction. The above-mentioned decision shall also determine the specific duties and obligations of the personnel of the Asylum Service, their work status, conditions and working hours, the regulation of overtime and other particular issues.

6. In order to cover the needs of the Regional Asylum Offices, the Asylum Service may undertake independent services contracts or fixed-duration work contracts, according to the provisions in force, with interpreters who have the necessary qualifications and are selected from a list drawn up by the Central Service in accordance with its Internal Regulation. The interpreters shall be paid in accordance with the conditions set in the relevant contract for the provision of independent services or fixed-duration work contract, according to the provisions in force. Their remuneration, the procedure and the documents necessary for payment in the execution of those contracts shall be defined by a joint decision by the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the Minister of Finance.

7. If a Regional Asylum Office faces problems in operating smoothly due to the lack of adequate or qualified staff or due to an extremely large number of applications for international protection submitted, the processing of some of the Office’s tasks, with the exception of those involving the exercise of public authority – such as the issuance of administrative acts, the examination of applications for international protection, the conduct of interviews and the provision of applicants with travel or identity documents- may be entrusted for a set period of time to civil society actors that meet appropriate standards of quality and safety. The decision on entrusting such tasks shall be taken by the Director of the Asylum Service, following a specific and reasoned proposal by the Head of the relevant Regional Asylum Office. A joint decision of the Ministers for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and of Finance shall determine the quality and safety standards to be met by civil society actors for the application of the previous subparagraph as well as the individual tasks of the Regional Asylum Offices that may be entrusted to them. The Coordination Department of the Asylum Service shall keep a Registry of certified civil society actors. Should the need defined in the first indent arise, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the European Asylum Support Office may provide any relevant assistance, such as handling specific procedures, depending on the mandate and the responsibilities of each institution. Details of this cooperation shall be regulated by memoranda to be concluded between the Asylum Service and the aforementioned institutions.

8. Employees of Regional Services of the Asylum Service shall be paid the allowance set in article 15, paragraph 1 of law 4024/2011 (O.G. A’ 226), as it continues to be paid in accordance with article 18 of law 4354/2015 (O.G. A’ 176), without prejudice to the upcoming alignment of the scheme with the relevant European legislation by the 31.12.2017. The amount of this allowance shall be fixed at one hundred fifty (150) euros per month.

9. The Asylum Service’s staff may wear special clothing suitable for protection against the weather. A decision of the Director of the Service shall define the terms, conditions, specifications and categories of staff who will wear this clothing and any other relevant matter thereupon.

 

Article 3

Budget – Financial Management – Procurement -Premises of the Service

1. The Asylum Service shall have its own budget as a separate entity within the Ministry for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction; this budget shall contain the appropriations for: a) salaries to its staff; b) insurance, social security and welfare of its staff; c) operating and other expenses.

2. The budget of the Asylum Service shall also include appropriations for any other expenditure, beyond those listed in paragraph 1, necessary for the operation of its services, by joint decision of the Ministers of Finances and Interior and Administrative Reconstruction.

3. The public investments part of the State’s budget shall provide appropriations for the construction of buildings and their equipment for the Services of the Asylum Service, in the context of the adopted annual appropriations of the State’s budget.

4. The Asylum Service shall receive a permanent advance of upfront funds to deal with its regular expenses, according to the provisions of article 108 of law 4270/2014 (OG A’ 143).

5. Expenditure, without prejudice to article 74 below, shall be controlled, settled, ordered and paid, depending on their nature, by the relevant State Audit Office or the General Directorate of Finances of the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction in accordance with the applicable provisions

6.. A joint decision of the Ministers of Finance and of the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Minister shall specifically regulate the management of equipment, money issues, and any other relevant matter.

7. The Asylum Service and its Regional Services shall be housed in government buildings, building belonging to the local authorities or to other entities, granted free of charge, or in private buildings leased at the State’s expenses. Exceptionally for the premises needs of the Regional Asylum Services, the provision of article 16, paragraph 3 below shall apply accordingly.

8. The State’s Properties Company may grant to the Asylum Service state-owned buildings by free use, in accordance with the applicable provisions and in order to address the housing needs of the Asylum Service. The repair, maintenance, expansion or adaptation of premises belonging to the State which house the Asylum Service services shall fall under the responsibility of the Administrative Support Department following a specific study where necessary, in accordance with the legislation in force.

 

Article   4

Appeals Authority – Establishment and mission

1. It is hereby established an autonomous Service within the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, entitled “Appeals Authority”, directly dependent on the Minister. The Appeals Authority shall be composed of the Central Administrative Service and the Appeals Committees. The Appeals Committees shall be competent to examine, decide upon and issue decisions on quasi-judicial appeals against decisions by the Asylum Service, in accordance with article 7, paragraph 5 of this law; they shall be supported in the fulfillment of their tasks by the Central Administrative Service.

2.  The seat of the Appeals Authority shall be fixed by decision of the Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction. Its territorial competence shall include the entire country. By decision of the Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, Annexes of the Appeals Authority may be established in other parts of the territory, and their territorial competence fixed. Such Annexes must, each, include at least one Appeals Committee with the necessary administrative support.

3. The Appeals Authority shall draw up, every three months, a report of activities for its work during the preceding reference period. This report shall include numerical and statistical data concerning its operation, the number of appeals lodged, the procedures followed, the percentage of cases examined through the oral and written procedure, the time to complete the examination of each appeal, the rates for recognition of refugee and subsidiary protection status, the cases against which an application for annulment before a competent court of law has been lodged and the number of cases where the appellant appeared with a legal assistant as well as the number of appellants who requested and were granted free legal aid.  The reports by the Appeals Authority shall be submitted to the Greek Ombudsman during the first fortnight of the months of January, April, July and October of each year. The Greek Ombudsman shall control, based on its judgment, the procedures followed in the exercise of its competences as per law 3094/2003 (O.G. A’ 10), as in force, as well as all other specific provisions. These reports of activities shall be made public at the Appeals Authority’ site, immediately after they have been submitted to the Greek Ombudsman.

 

Article 5

Appeals Authority – Composition, staffing and operation

1. It is hereby established, within the Appeals Authority, the post of the Administrative Director of the Central Administrative Service. The Administrative Director shall be appointed by decision of the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, following a public call of interest, after the assent of the Selection Committee set in paragraph 10 of this article and according to the selection procedure established in paragraph 11 of this article. The Administrative Director shall be appointed for a three-year term, which may be renewed once for a further period of three years, following the procedure established in the previous indent. The Administrative Director shall be a person of recognized standing, with a university degree, with competence in management and specialization and/or experience in the and/or in the field of international protection, human rights or international or administrative law. The Administrative Director shall:

a. Be in charge of the Central Administrative Service of the Appeals Authority and of the administrative services of the Annexes.

b. Be responsible for the smooth and efficient operation and support of the Appeals Committees, the drawing up and execution of the budget and for keeping and publishing the reports and statistical data, according to the Authority’s Internal Regulation.

c. Report to the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction concerning the implementation of the contracts with the members of the Appeals Committees.

The Administrative Director shall be controlled by he Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction who may dismiss him/her before the end of his/her mandate either because s/he resigns or in case s/he is unable to perform his/her tasks or for any other serious reason related to the exercise of his/her duties. The Administrative Director shall be a Greek citizen. The exercise of any other public office by the Administrative Director during his/her term of office shall be suspended; s/he shall not carry out any other professional activity, not take up other remunerated tasks in the public or the private sector, in a field related to his/her duties as Administrative Director. If the person appointed as Administrative Director is an attorney-at-law, s/he must obligatorily suspend the exercise of his/her legal profession throughout his/her mandate. The remuneration of the Director shall be determined by joint decision of the Minister for Finances and the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Restructuring.

2. A decision of the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall establish, within the Appeals Authority, three-member Appeals Committees and shall determine their number. The members of the Appeals Committees shall hold a university degree in Law, Political or Social Sciences or Humanities with specialization and experience the fields of international protection, human rights or international or administrative law and shall be chosen according to the selection procedure set in this article.

3. The Selection Committee set in paragraph 10 of this article shall select, following a public call of interest, the members of the Appeals Committees in accordance with the procedure set in paragraph 12 of this article; they shall then be appointed by the Minister for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction. The term of the members of the Committees shall be five years and may be renewed in accordance with the procedure of the previous indent. The members of the Committees, in the exercise of their functions, shall enjoy personal independence. The members of the Committees shall be contracted by the Greek State, represented by the Minister for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, with a private law contract of employment for a determined duration. A joint decision by the Ministers for Finances and for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall determine the amount of the special additional remuneration paid to the members of the Committees. The working conditions of the Committee members as well as any other matter relating to the performance of their duties shall be determined by the above contracts and by the Internal Regulation of the Authority. The members of the Committees shall be subject to the disciplinary provisions of the Code for the Status of Public and Civil Servants and Officials of the public legal entities, as applicable.

4. The Committee members of the Appeals Authority may be dismissed by the Minister for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction before the expiry of their term, after termination of the contract for the reasons set out therein and in the Internal Regulation of the Authority. During their term of office, the Committee members shall suspend the exercise of any other public office they hold and shall not exercise any other professional activity, they shall not take up any other remunerated duty in the public or private sector, nor take up any other, even non- remunerated, position in a field related to their duties. If the persons nominated as members of the Committees are attorney-at-law, they are required to suspend the exercise of their professional activity. The members of the Committees shall be Greek citizens.

5. The Internal Regulation of the Appeals Authority shall specify how to conduct the drawing of sorts in order to establish the different three-member Appeals Committees and to appoint the chair of each Committee. Each member of the Committee shall alternate, on a yearly basis, as chair of the Committee, in accordance with the Internal Regulation. If possible, each Committee shall include at least one (1) member with a law degree.

6. Within the Appeals Authority there shall be a three-members non-remunerated committee with a term of one year, which shall consist of Committee members and shall be elected by all their members. This committee shall be competent to represent the Appeals Authority on matters exclusively relating to its decision-making power before other authorities or institutions, to participate, in cooperation with the Department for Legal Support, Training and Documentation, in ensuring the quality in the procedures and decisions of Committees and to actively contribute to the preparation of reports and statistics published by the Authority. The three-member committee may submit proposals for the preparation and drawing-up of the necessary draft legislative and, in general, regulatory texts and for the drafting of circulars and internal instructions of the Appeals Authority. The Internal Regulation of the Authority shall provide the specific details for the establishment of the committee and the exercise of those powers.

7. The Central Administrative Service of the Appeals Authority shall be structured in the following departments:

a) Department for Legal Support, Training and Documentation, entrusted with: aa) providing legal support to the Appeals Authority on matters of its competence, such as drafting opinions on judicial remedies or applications brought against decisions of the Appeals Committees, contributing in the preparation and drawing-up of the necessary draft legislative and regulatory texts in general, and drafting circulars and internal instructions bb) organizing training and continuing education to the staff of the Appeals Authority staff and the members of the Committees, cc) searching, collecting, evaluating and recording information on the political, social and economic situation in countries of origin or former habitual residence of the appellants, in cooperation with the competent department of the Asylum Office and other authorities of the country or of other countries, dd) participating in the processing and analysis of statistical data, in cooperation with the Administrative Support Department.

b) the Administrative Support Department entrusted with: aa) the secretarial support of the Administrative Director of the Central Administrative Service, b) the secretarial support of the Appeals Committees, c) the coordination and ensuring of the smooth and efficient operation of the Appeals Committees, d) the collection, processing and keeping of statistical data, in cooperation with the Department for Legal Support, Training and Documentation, ee) the organization and monitoring of the Appeals Authority informatics system, ff) the maintaining the protocol and the filing system of the Appeals Authority, the responsibility for the contacts and the cooperation of the Appeals Authority, in particular with other concerned government agencies and independent authorities, as well as actors of the civil society, gg) matters of communication and information to the public and to public entities, hh) the management of staff matters in the Authority.

c) The Department of Finances entrusted with: aa) the preparation and execution of the Appeals Authority’s budget, bb) the responsibility for the preparation and approval of the Authority’s supplies and for matters relating to salaries, allowances and any kind of remuneration to the staff, appointment of public accounting officers, the division, reapportioning and control of the movement of the permanent advance and all other relevant matter, cc) the implementation of actions financed by European or other resources, investigation, the drafting of proposals and the submission to the competent managing authorities of funding programs in the area of ​​competence of the Appeals Authority and the management of supplies of material, the security of the premises, their maintenance and repair.

8. The Central Administrative Service of the Authority shall be staffed by public civil servants who are transferred, moved or seconded from other services of the State, or of the public sector (Article 2 of Law 3861/2010 O. G.  A’ 112) or of state legal entities or of the local administration or are recruited as permanent staff or under an employment contract of indeterminate duration, in accordance with the provisions in force. For the purposes of filling of the posts the Administrative Director of the Authority shall carry out a public call of interest. The transfers, movement and postings shall be made in derogation of existing provisions in order to meet the staffing needs of the Appeals Authority. Priority shall be given to the transfer to the Appeals Authority of staff from services of the state, the wider public sector (Article 2 of Law 3861/2010 OG A’ 112), public entities, or local administration authorities, which are to be abolished or merged. The transfers shall be made to vacant posts or, if there is no vacancy, the post of the employee transferred shall also be transferred by a joint decision of competent Ministers, upon proposal of the Administrative Director of the Authority. The transfer shall be effected after a public call addressed by the Administrative Director of the Office, which shall identify the general and specific qualifications, the criteria and the selection process for those to be transferred; it shall not be required to apply the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 68 of Law 4002/2011 (O.G. A’. 180). The Authority shall inform the Commission set by the Act of the Government number 33/2006 (A’ 280) as amended, as well as the relevant departments of the Ministry for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction on the number and grades of the posts to be covered by the transfers. The transfer shall be made at the grade and salary step held by the person to be transferred who shall also retain the pension insurance scheme kept prior to transfer. The transfer shall be carried out by a joint decision of the competent ministers, according to paragraph 1 of article 68 of law 4002/2011 (O.G. A’ 180), notwithstanding any other general or special provision. Seconding of staff shall be carried out by a joint decision of the competent ministers, notwithstanding any other general or special provision, on a proposal from the Administrative Director of the Appeals Authority, who shall assess the formal and substantial qualifications of the candidates; the same process shall take place when prolonging seconding such staff. Seconded employees shall receive the regular salary of their post. Such salary shall be borne by the budget of the Ministry, Office or Agency where the seconded employee belongs. If the seconded employee is entitled to a position allowance, because s/he has taken up the position of a head of unit or department, it shall be paid by the Appeals Authority. The Appeals Authority may employ staff under fixed-term private law contracts under the conditions and the procedure laid down in law 2190/94 (O.G. A’ 28), as amended and supplemented by law 2527/1997 (O.G. A’ 206) and presidential decree 164/2004 (O.G. A’ 134). The following posts shall be established for the staffing of the Central Administrative Office of the Appeals Authority:

a) 10 posts in category Administration and Finances, for the grades of specialized scientific personnel or university graduates with a degree in Law, Political or Social Sciences and Humanities, and 5 posts in category Administration and Accounting, for grades secondary school graduates who shall staff the Department of Legal Support, Training and Documentation.

b) 4 posts in category Administration and Finances, for the grade of university graduates, 5 posts in category Administration and Accounting, for grades secondary school graduates, one post in category Informatics for the grade of university graduates and 2 posts in category Informatics for the grade of technical university graduates.

c) 4 posts in category Administration and Finances, for the grade of university graduates, 3 posts in category Administration and Accounting, for grades secondary school graduates, 1 post in category Administration and Accounting for the grade of technical university graduates and 1 post in category Informatics for the grade of technical university graduates.

The qualifications of the specialized scientific staff shall be those stipulated in Article 2 of presidential decree 50/2001. The Administrative Director of the Appeals Authority shall place the staff in the Authority on the basis of the call or invitation, the provisions in force and the existing needs of the Authority.

9. The filling of positions shall be carried out following a public call of interest from the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction. The seconding shall be carried out by a joint decision by the competent Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the other competent minister, notwithstanding any general or special provision, on a proposal from the Administrative Director of the Appeals Authority, who shall assess the candidates’ formal and substantial qualifications. The same process shall take place when prolonging secondments. The Appeals Authority may, in order to cover its needs, undertake service contracts, according to the provisions in force, with interpreters who have the necessary qualifications and are selected from a list drawn up by the Central Administrative Service in accordance with the Internal Regulation of the Authority. The interpreters shall be paid in accordance with the conditions set in the relevant contract for the provision of independent services. Their remuneration, the procedure and the documents necessary for payment in the execution of those contracts shall be defined by a joint decision by the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the Minister of Finances.

10. A joint decision by the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the Minister of Finances shall establish a three-member Selection Committee, entrusted with the examination of applications and the selection of the Administrative Director of the Central Service of the Appeals Authority as well as the examination of applications and the selection of members of the Appeals Committees. The Selection Committee shall be composed of:

a) a Deputy Ombudsman and his deputy as president, appointed by decision of the Ombudsman,

b) a Councilor of the Higher Council for the Selection of Civil Servants and his deputy as a member,

c) an academic, member of the teaching staff of a Greek university in the fields of law, political, social sciences or humanities as a member and his substitute with similar qualifications to be indicated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

11. The joint ministerial decision in paragraph 10 above shall also determine the formal and substantial qualifications as well as formal impediments for candidates to the position of Administrative Director, the required documentation, the reception, control of whether the applications meet the formal qualifications (pre-selection) and shall regulate the procedural aspects for the public interview by the Selection Committee of the candidates; during the interview, the Selection Committee shall assess the competence and qualifications, the skills and the personality of the candidates. The same decision shall assign the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government with the organization and conduct of this procedure.

12. The joint ministerial decision in paragraph 10 above shall also regulate the procedures for organizing and conducting the examination of the applications and the selection of the members of the Appeals Committees, it shall establish the formal and substantive qualifications as well as formal impediments for candidates, the required documentation, the conditions for maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and transparency of the written examination procedure, as well as the grading scale, the details and stages of the examination process; this process shall include: a) the reception  control of whether the applications meet the formal qualifications (pre-selection) b) a written examination on the modules “International Protection” and “Applications of Administrative Law”, which shall be carried out under the responsibility of the Selection Committee in collaboration with the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government c) a public interview by the Selection Committee, which shall assess the competence and the qualifications, the skills and personality of the candidates. The public interview shall be the third stage of the procedure; participation to it shall be open to candidates, ranked in order of their performance, and to a limit of three times the number of the predetermined number of members of the Appeals Committees to be selected and only for candidates having received the lowest passing grade; candidates with a grade identical to that of the last successful candidate, shall be invitation in addition, if the case be. The Selection Committee shall prepare the topics and the answers to the written examination. The examination call, its conduct and the grading of the written examination shall be conferred with the aforementioned joint ministerial decision to the National Centre Public Administration and Local Government.

13. The cost of the selection process of the Director and the members of the Appeals Committees, including the examination processes, shall be borne by the Appeals Authority’s budget.

 

Article 6

Budget – Financial Management – Procurement -Premises of the Authority

1. The Appeals Authority shall have its own budget as a separate entity within the Ministry for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction; this budget shall contain the appropriations for its operating needs and its staff. Specifically, it shall include appropriations for expenditure:

a) salaries of staff members who are not paid by the services from where they have been seconded, any overtime pay, remuneration and compensation of the members of Appeals Committees, fees for interpretation services if not covered by other resources, travel expenses and other related allowances, b) buying, letting, repairing and maintenance cost of buildings and all kinds of material equipment, c) operating expenses, and training and education costs for staff and members of the Appeals Committees.

2. The budget of the Appeals Authority shall also include appropriations for any other expenditure, beyond those listed in paragraph 1, necessary for the operation of its services, by joint decision of the Ministers of Finances and Interior and Administrative Reconstruction.

3. The Appeals Authority shall receive a permanent advance of upfront funds to deal with its regular expenses, according to the provisions of article 108 of law 4270/2014 (OG A’ 143).

4. The financial management of the Appeals Authority shall be exercised by its competent services and the costs incurred shall be controlled, cleared and ordered in accordance with the regulations for public accounting.

5. A joint decision by the Ministers of Finance and Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall specifically regulate the management of equipment, money issues, and any other related matter, if necessary.

6. The Appeals Authority may be housed in buildings of the State, of State entities or of local authorities or of other bodies provided free of charge or in privately owned buildings leased at the expense of the State.

7. The Appeals Authority shall be designated as the competent authority to issue an order authorizing access to nationally classified material for its staff and members of the Committees; it shall also be designated as the responsible directorate for security matters, in application of the National Security Regulation (NRA) as far as the Authority is concerned. The Authority shall include a resident lieutenancy, as per the provisions of the National Security Regulation, whose person in charge shall be the Administrative Director of the Appeals Authority.

 

Article 7

General and enabling provisions

1. The staff of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority shall be provided the necessary training by the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, in cooperation with the UNHCR and other relevant bodies.

2. A presidential decree, issued upon proposal of the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and Finance Ministers may, even by modifying the provisions of this law, regulate matters concerning the organization, operation, seat and specific functions of the Central Asylum Service and Regional Asylum Services, merged or abolish existing services and establish new ones, increase or decrease the posts of staff or set up new ones and regulate staff duties.

3. Presidential decrees issued upon proposals by the Ministers for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Ministers, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Labor, Social Security and Social Welfare, Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Health and Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, shall regulate the procedures for receiving applicants for international protection, the procedures for the submission and examination of international protection applications, the procedures for the recognition of refugee status or granting subsidiary protection status or humanitarian status and the content thereof. A similar decree shall regulate the procedure for examining international protection applications or appeals pending at the moment of the entry into force of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority. A presidential decree, issued on recommendation of the Ministers of Labor, Social Security and Welfare and for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall regulate matters pertaining to the access to the labor market, and more specific conditions for the employment of beneficiaries of international protection, applicants for international protection and beneficiaries of residence status on humanitarian grounds in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 of Presidential Decree 114/2010 (O.G. A’195), paragraph 1 of Article 8 of Presidential Decree 61/1999 (O.G. A’63) or paragraph 4 of article 25 of law 1975/1991 (O.G. A’ 184).

4. The Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall issue, with a decision, the Internal Regulation of the Asylum Service, on a proposal by its Director; it shall regulated specific matters of internal structure and operation of the Asylum Service. A similar decision shall issue the Internal Regulation of the Appeals Authority regulating specific matters of internal structure and operation of the Authority. The decision of the previous sentence shall be issued following a relevant proposal by a committee consisting of the Administrative Director, the members of the three-member non remunerated committee of par. 6 of article 5 and the head of the Legal Support Department of the Appeals Authority.

5. Decisions rejecting an application for international protection or withdrawing that status may be challenged under the provisions for the quasi-judicial appeal referred to in articles 61 and 62, below.

6. The responsibility for issues pertaining to the personnel of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority shall belong to the administrative staff committees, which are competent for the civilian staff in the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction. When these committees examine issues related to the personnel of the above services, representatives elected by the personnel of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority shall attend as staff elected members of these committees. The process and generally all matters relating to the election of these representatives shall be governed by the provisions of articles 159-162 of Law 3528/2007 (O.G. A’ 26), as amended and in force, referring to civilian civil officials.

7. A presidential decree, issued upon proposal of the Minister for the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, Finance, Culture and Sport, Education, Research and Religious Affairs, Labor, Social Security and Welfare, Health, Foreign Affairs and Justice, Transparency and Human Rights shall regulate the procedures for determining the status of a stateless person, the content thereof, and any other relevant issue.

8. A decision of the Minister for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and the competent on each case Minister, where required, shall regulate matters relating to the procedure and conditions for providing aliens and stateless persons with temporary protection, the procedure and conditions for providing legal aid to applicants for international protection, the procedure and conditions for determining whether an applicants for international protection is a minor, and issues relating to the application of the provisions of the presidential decrees to be issued pursuant to this article.

9. A joint decision of the Ministers of Finance, Economy, Development and Tourism and the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall specify the type, content and specifications of residence permits, which will be granted to beneficiaries of international protection, under the provisions of article 25, paragraph 2 of the Geneva Convention signed on 28/4/1951, which was ratified by Decree 3989/1959 (O.G. A’ 201) and amended by the relevant New York Protocol of January 31, 1967; of article 1 paragraph 2, case e of law 3907/2011 (O.G. A’ 7), as amended and in force; of EC Regulation 1030/2002 of June 13, 2002 on the “uniform format for residence permits for third country nationals» (O.J. L’ 157, 15.6.2002) and its Annex, as amended by Council Regulation 380/2008 of 29.4.2008.

10. A decision of the Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction shall define the type, content and requirements of the applicant for international protection’s card, which shall be a temporary title and which shall be provided to applicants for international protection in accordance with article 41, paragraph 1 (d).

11. A joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction and Foreign Affairs, issued on the recommendation of the Director of the Asylum Service, shall establish the countries designated as safe countries of origin for the purposes of examining applications for international protection in accordance with article 57.

12. A joint decision of the Ministers for Interior and Administrative Reconstruction, Foreign Affairs and Finance shall determine the terms and conditions specified for the resettlement of refugees from third countries, in application of the recommendations, decisions or any other relevant act by the EU institutions and other international organizations.

Content of the law

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