One more step towards comprehensive asylum policy with first EASO management board meeting

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) held its first management board meeting in Valletta (Malta) and selected Mr Rob Visser as its Executive Director, who will now be invited to appear before the competent Committee of the European Parliament. With the operational launch of this new agency, the EU makes further progress towards a more comprehensive Common European Asylum System.

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) which was created by the Council back in May 2010 will support Member States in their efforts to implement a more consistent and fair asylum policy by enhancing solidarity among Member States, through practical cooperation on asylum matters, and helping them fulfilling their European and international obligations in this field.

This general objective will be performed through actions focused in helping to identify good practices, by organizing training at European level or by improving access to accurate information on countries of origin. It will also provide technical and operational support to Member States facing "particular pressures" (i.e. Member States receiving large numbers of asylum claims), via the deployment of asylum expert teams, thus contributing to alleviate some of the pressure on their systems.

The EASO has been set up in the form of a regulatory agency, an independent European body. The Commission and EU Member States will be represented on its management board (its governing body). It will work closely with the national authorities responsible for asylum, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Fundamental Rights Agency, FRONTEX, and consult with civil society. The Executive Director of the EASO will be in charge of the day-to-day management of the agency.

The EASO will focus on three main tasks:

  • Develop practical cooperation among Member States on asylum, by facilitating exchange of information on countries of origin, by providing Member States with support for translation and interpretation, training of asylum officials and assisting in the relocation of recognised refugees.
  • Support Member States under "particular pressure", in particular through the establishment of an early warning system, coordinating teams of experts to assist EU countries in managing asylum applications and in putting in place appropriate reception facilities.
  • Contribute to the implementation of the CEAS by collecting and exchanging information on best practices, drawing up an annual report on the asylum situation in the EU and adopting technical documents, such as guidelines and operating manuals, on the implementation of the Union's asylum instruments.