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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Proposal for the establishment of European Asylum Support Office

On 18 February, the European Commission proposed a Regulation to establish a European Asylum Support Office (EASO) which could be running by 2010. The establishment of a new agency is in line with the Policy Plan on Asylum adopted by the Commission in June 2008 which proposed an extension of European legislation on asylum. The EU’s objectives are to build up administrative cooperation between the Member States and to abolish the differences in the national asylum policies.

With the increasing numbers of asylum seekers in Europe, the mayor tasks of the EASO will be to support Member States in their efforts to implement a more consistent and fairer asylum policy. The agency will support practical cooperation on asylum, assist Member States under particular pressure through possibly deploying asylum support teams and contribute to the implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

This regulatory agency will take the form of an independent European body without decision-making powers.
The Office's structure will consist of a management board, an executive director, an executive committee and a consultative forum. The management board will be composed of representatives of the Member States and the Commission. UNHCR will be present on the board, although without voting rights. NGO influence is only possible through the consultative body.

EU Press Release: Setting up of European Asylum Support Office proposed by the Commission

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