Who is Who in International Protection in the EU+: Reception Authorities

The recast Reception Conditions Directive (RCD)[1] establishes common standards in the area of reception, ensuring comparable and dignified living conditions for asylum seekers in all Member States.​​

The overview of reception authorities was updated on 06 July 2023. 

 Overview of reception authorities

The data visualisation presents the national authorities responsible for reception conditions in EU+ countries, commonly referred to as reception authorities.

Hover over a country and “click for more” to view the following information for each reception authority:
  • Legal status based on the following classifications:  
    • Government agency (independent authority)
    • Federal government agency (independent authority)
    • Government entity forming part of a ministry
    • Independent regional authority 
    • Law enforcement agency  
    • Ministry 
  • Role and competencies 
  • Internal organisational structure
  • Legal basis
  • Hyperlinks to official websites and social media channels.

 Key findings

  • In 16 EU+ countries, the reception authority is a government entity forming part of a ministry or, in the case of two countries, a ministry itself. In 10 EU+ countries, the reception authority is an independent government or federal agency, and in two EU+ countries the reception authority is a law enforcement agency. In Germany, there is an independent reception authority in each of the 16 Länders.  
  • 22 reception authorities decide independently on the form and modalities of material reception conditions, while two authorities are partially involved in the discussion.
  • All 31 authorities provide accommodation to adult applicants and accompanied minors. Of these, 26 authorities are also responsible for the accommodation of unaccompanied minors. In addition, 29 authorities provide reception to beneficiaries of international protection to support their transition into mainstream housing.
  • 29 reception authorities provide information on the rights and obligations of applicants in respect to material reception conditions. 24 reception authorities, including some of the Länders in Germany , are responsible for issuing sanctions to applicants who breach house rules. 
  • 23 reception authorities, including some of the Länders in Germany, provide cultural mediation services. 11 reception authorities provide vocational training for adult applicants. In addition, 12 reception authorities, including a number of Länders in Germany, provide employment support. Moreover, nine reception authorities offer voluntary work opportunities.
  • 22 reception authorities, including a number of Länders in Germany, offer language classes for adults, while 17 reception authorities, including some Länders in Germany, offer language classes for children. 14 reception authorities, including some Länders in Germany, provide additional educational activities for children. 
  • In 25 EU+ countries, the reception authority is responsible for providing medical screenings. 26 out of 31 authorities directly provide the necessary health care, while 27 authorities also provide psycho-social support to applicants. In Germany, all Länders provide health care, but only some provide medical screenings and psycho-social support.
  • Reception authorities have invested in official websites to enhance their digital presence. All of the authorities, including the 16 German Länders, have a dedicated website. Many also have various social media channels. 

Note: The two Lithuanian authorities were counted separately, while the German Länders were counted as one entity. If some Länders offer a service, it was determined that the German authority offers the service and a clarification is provided in the text. 

[1] The CEAS is binding on all EU Member States except Denmark and Ireland. Ireland is not bound by any instrument adopted pursuant to the treaties in the field of asylum but can opt in to any such instrument. Ireland opted into the recast Reception Conditions Directive in 2018. Denmark has consistently opted out of treaty provisions in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, including issues concerning asylum (TFEU, Article 78). Consequently, Denmark does not participate and is not bound by the treaty provisions or any secondary legislation relating to CEAS, with the exception of the Dublin and Eurodac Regulations, which Denmark applies pursuant to an international agreement. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not bound by EU directives; however, similar national provisions apply. Given that these countries are bound by the Dublin III Regulation, additional provisions may apply. References to countries not bound by CEAS should be read in conjunction to existing legal frameworks.

[2] EU+ countries include EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

[3] Each Länder is responsible for defining their own operating standards and reception conditions. For the purpose of the overview and data visualisation of the reception authorities, if some of the Länders in Germany provide a service, it was counted as a service offered in Germany and marked with ‘yes.’​