Administration & Contact
The Appeals Authority operates as a Directorate and examines at second instance, (quasi-judicial) appeals against 1st degree decisions issued by the Asylum Service (first instance). The Appeals Authority consists of the following departments:
- the Central Administration Service, and
- the Independent Appeals Committees
The local jurisdiction of the Appeals Authority is extended throughout the national territory. From September 16, 2018 until today, Maria Fokianou is the Administrative Director of the Appeals Authority.
The Central Administration Service consists of the Department of Legal Support, Training and Documentation and the Department of Administrative and Operational Support.
The Independent Appeals Committees are responsible for: a) discussing appeals against the decisions of the Asylum Service, b) decision-making and c) issuing decisions at second instance, according to Laws: 4636/2019 and 4375/2016 (Α΄51). Their operation is assisted by the Central Administration Service, which collaborates with the competent services of the General Secretariat of Migration Policy.
Central Administration Service
Head of Department: George Vlassis
The Department of Legal Support, Training and Documentation is responsible for:
- the provision of legal support to the Appeals Authority in matters relating to its subject matter, such as the preparation of opinions on legal measures or legal remedies filed against decisions of the Appeals Committees;
- the contribution to the preparation and drafting of the necessary draft bills and regulatory texts in general, drafting of circulars and internal guidelines, and, if necessary, of a detailed and thorough report which records and processes the true facts of the case and the allegations presented by the applicant, and matches such allegations with the information on the country of origin, which shall be brought to the jurisdictional discretion of the Independent Appeals Committees;
- the organization of the provision of training and continuing education to the staff of the Appeals Authority and the members of the Independent Appeals Committees;
- seeking, collecting, evaluating and maintaining information on the political, social and economic situation in the countries of origin or previous habitual residence of the applicants, in cooperation with the competent department of the Asylum Service and other authorities of the country or other countries;
- the participation in the processing and analysis of statistical data, in collaboration with the Department of Administrative and Operational Support;
- monitoring and participating in the design of appeal policy and legislation, at European and international level, and the submission of relevant suggestions and proposals to the Directorate for European and International Cooperation;
- conducting the preparation of representation in international and European organizations for appeal issues in cooperation with the Directorate of European and International Cooperation of the Ministry;
- collaborating with the Directorate of European and International Cooperation of the Ministry for the processing of bilateral and multilateral contracts and agreements on matters of appeal;
- the integration and monitoring of the application of EU law on matters of appeal in the Greek legal order in collaboration with the Directorate of European and International Cooperation.
Head of Department: Nikoleta Koukourigou
The Department of Administrative Support is responsible for:
- the secretarial support of the Administrative Director of the Central Administration Service;
- the secretarial support of the Appeals Committees;
- the coordination and care for the orderly and efficient operation of the Appeal Committees;
- the collection, processing and maintenance of statistical data, in cooperation with the Department of Legal Support, Training and Documentation;
- the organization and monitoring of the IT system of the Appeals Authority;
- keeping the Appeals Authority's Protocol and Record, ensuring that the Appeals Authority communicates and cooperates, in particular, with other relevant jointly competent State and independent Authorities, as well as with civil society organizations;
- handling communication, public information and public affairs issues;
- handling the Service's personnel matters;
- posting the published legal acts of the service on the online program "Diavgia."
Maria Fokianou is a lawyer, a graduate of the Law School of the Democritus University of Thrace and holder of two postgraduate degrees: "Crisis, Mass Disaster and Emergency Situations Management" by National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and “Health Economics and Management” by University of Piraeus. She had been member of Athens Bar Association from 1994 to 2018 and member of the Administrative Chamber since 2011.
She has worked for Human Rights and Democratization International Organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda, the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Angola, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Bosnia, Serbia, and Kossovo. She has also served in Greece as the Director of Human Recourses of Doctors without Borders, the Coordinator of the education programme in the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment and Culture & Sustainable Development, and as the Deputy Director of ELIX -Voluntary Work Camps.
She was a consultant of Members of the Hellenic Parliament (Ch. Karydi, G. Papadimitriou, D. Papadimoulis) and ministers (Ph. Sachinidis, N. Filis).
She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
She has been the Director of the Appeals Authority since September 2018.