The new closed-controlled access centres in Greece: Samos as a testing ground for the EU migration

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Catalfamo, Vittoria
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In October 2021, the first of the new generation of Closed-Controlled Access Centres was opened on Samos, Greece, entirely funded by the European Union. The new model for the reception of asylum seekers has been presented as a modern, safe and durable solution for hosting in a dignified way asylum seekers and migrants seeking international protection. This research aims at understanding how the European Union policy framework in terms on migration and asylum materialises at the borders of Europe, with a focus on closed-controlled access centre on Samos, and what are the effects for the fundamental rights of its residents. An in-depth examination of the European Union migration acquis since the 2015 “refugee crisis” will expose the severe pitfalls of the European Agenda on Migration and of selected reforms of the New Pact of Asylum and Migration in responding to migration challenges. Subsequently, we will conduct human-rights based assessment of the CCAC, with a focus on freedom of movement, integration, access to legal aid, asylum, healthcare, and the impact of surveillance on the right to private life and mental health. The assessment results will demonstrate that, despite the undeniable material improvements, the new reception model fails to uphold the fundamental rights of its residents. On the contrary, the ever-restrictive policies and practices, implemented with financial and operational support of the EU, replicate the long-standing systemic deficiencies of the Greek reception and asylum system, reinforcing the evidence that a strategy of containment and deterrence of migration is being prioritised over the protection of displaced people.
Second semester University: Panteion University, Athens
migration policy, asylum, asylum seekers, migrants, European Union, Greece