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Original scientific paper

Strengthening Borders, Managing Centres: Reception Conditions and Provisions of Services to Asylum Seekers in Croatia

Kristina Pandek ; Sesvete, Croatia
Drago Župarić-Iljić orcid id ; Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

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page 217-249

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This article analyses the impact that the Common European Asylum System may have on asylum seekers residing in reception centres within Croatia, as well as more recent challenges related to increased asylum seekers’ numbers and difficulties they might pose for the reception standards and provision of services. We posit that a degree of variation occurs in the treatment of asylum seekers throughout reception centres in the EU. The analysis sheds light on the Croatian asylum reception system, one that had been legally obligated to fully harmonise its policies with the EU acquis during the EU accession process. Based on the field research in the form of semi-structured interviews among the stakeholders and asylum seekers at the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers Kutina in 2016, the findings will demonstrate that although Croatia has fully adapted its regulations to the Reception Conditions Directive, there are still issues regarding the minimum standards of quality of reception, service provision and future integration of protection claimants. The authors contend that gaps and insufficiencies in the reception conditions and standards are directly decreasing asylum seekers’ future prospects by affecting their chances of integration into Croatian society and resulting in significant secondary movement of these migrants to other EU countries. Even more, in the aftermath of the Balkan corridor, the present challenges of increased numbers of asylum applicants are calling for the planning of new and proper reception facilities, which is difficult to accomplish in the context of overtly securitised asylum and migration policies.


asylum seekers, Common European Asylum System (CEAS), reception, Croatia, Balkan Corridor, refugees, integration

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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