Border Procedures for Asylum Applications in EU+ Countries
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UNHCR also highlighted that detention of asylum applicants in order to decide on the right to enter
the territory in the context of the border procedure poses the risk of widespread detention and
appears to be contrary to the position that persons cannot be detained for the sole reason that they
are seeking international protection.21 Detention should remain an exceptional measure applied only
for a legitimate purpose and reviewed regularly. In addition, according to UNHCR, border procedures
should not be appààààààààààà22
4. Latest developments regarding border procedures in EU+ countries
According to publicly-available information, developments in the last two years occured
mainly in Greece, Italy and Switzerland.
In 2019 and 2020, Greece adopted laws (Law 4636/2019 on International Protection and
other provisions amended by Law 4686/2020), including provisions on the exceptional border
procedure implemented since 2016 on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos (the
exceptional border procedure was based previously on Law 4375/2016, Article 60(4)).23
In 2018, Italy introduced simplified and accelerated procedures which can now be applied at the
border and in transit zones (see the Immigration and Security Decree).24 In 2019, Italy identified
border or transit areas in several provinces along the Slovene border and along the Ionian Sea coast,
in Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia (Tr ieste, Gorizia, Crotone, Cosenza, Matera, Taranto, Lecce, Brindisi,
Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Siracusa, Catania, Messina, Trapani, Agrigento, Metropolitan City of Cagliari
and South Sardinia).25
Switzerland introduced a new asylum procedure as of 1 March 2019, whereby persons applying for
asylum at the airport are confined to the transit area systematically. They are provided access to free
legal representation and authorised organisations can provide support to applicants.26
Lastly, Poland may introduce a border procedure as proposed in the 2019 revised draft amendment
to the Law on Protection. However, the draft amendment has not yet been finalised.27
5. Selection of relevant case law
For interpretations of specific aspects related to safeguards which are applicable under the border
procedure, especially concerning material reception conditions and detention at the border, please
see the following selection of cases:28
• For airport transit areas: Council of Europe, CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECHR],
Z.A. (Iraq) and Others (Somalia, Palestine and Syria) vs Russia, Application Nos. 61411/15,
61420/15, 61427/15 and 3028/16, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2019:1121JUD006141115, 21 November
2019. Read more on EASO Case Law Database.
21 UNHCR, UNHCR Annotated Comments to Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and Council of 26 June
2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast), April 2015, p. 6.
22 UNHCR, UNHCR Comments on the European Commission's Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation, April
2019, COM (2016) 467, p. 36.
23 EASO Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2018, June 2019, p. 18, 132-133.
24 EASO Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2018, June 2019, p. 18.
25 EASO Asylum Report 2020, Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union, p. 131.
26 EASO Asylum Report 2020, Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union, p. 131.
27 EASO Asylum Report 2020, Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union, p. 131.
28 For a selection of cases pronounced by the ECtHR see ECtHR, Guide on the case-law of the European Convention on
Human Rights Immigration, updated on 30 April 2020.