The new EU Asylum Agency started its work yesterday, 19 January 2022. The new agency will operate under an enhanced mandate building on the achievements of its predecessor, the European Asylum Support Office.
According to a press release issued by the EU Commission on the agency’s first day of operation, the latter will help ensure that asylum decisions are taken in shorter and fair periods across the EU while achieving greater uniformity in decision-making among member states, TheSchengen.com reports.
“A reserve of 500 experts including case handlers, interpreters or reception specialists will be ready to deploy quickly as part of the asylum support teams at the request of Member States. The Agency’s experts will have a mandate to prepare the entire administrative asylum procedure for decision-making by national authorities and provide assistance in Appeals stage,” the commission notes in its press release, explaining how the agency’s enhanced mandate works.
The Commission also notes that the new agency will provide a high-quality and standardized decision-making process by establishing standards, guidelines and practices for the application of Union Asylum Act.
The agency also intends to better monitor and report on the asylum and reception systems in member states in order to ensure that these systems are fully in line with EU law. It will also ensure that the rights of asylum seekers are protected through an independent Fundamental Rights Officer and a new complaints mechanism.
The predecessor of the new EU asylum agency, the European Asylum Support Office, has trained more than 40,000 people over the past 10 years. It also registered 40 percent of all asylum applications in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta, and conducted 80 percent of best interests assessments of children in Greece.
In order to enable the new agency to continue the good work, the block allocated 172 million euros to it. The Agency will therefore be able to launch its operations in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Spain by supporting the asylum and reception authorities in these countries with approximately 2,000 staff.
The Commission also notes that “its new reserve of 500 experts will also provide more effective support to national asylum systems facing a large number of issues, making the EU’s migration management system more efficient and sustainable.”
The EU Council Presidency and Parliament representatives reached agreement on the new asylum agency again on June 30, 2021. At that time, the decision was welcomed by all member states, particularly countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, which are often targeted by migrants as ports of entry. to the European Union.
The Council adopted the EU Asylum Agency Regulations in December last year.