The provisional agreement reached on Tuesday between EP negotiators and the Council’s Portuguese Presidency ends a years-long impasse at the Council over the creation of a proposed agency, which would completely replace the European Union’s Office of Asylum Assistance (EASO). – Issuing agency. While the new agreement mostly reaffirms the political agreement reached in 2017, it also includes specific provisions on the implementation of the monitoring mechanism, which will come into force primarily from December 31, 2023.
text reinforces the present easy, operating since 2011, transforming it into an independent agency that will develop operational standards, indicators, guidelines and best practices on asylum-related matters, and provide operational support to member states in crisis situations as well as rehabilitation and resettlement. To improve the functioning of the common asylum system, it will support practical cooperation and exchange of information on asylum between Member States. The agency will receive additional financial and human resources, including enough staff of its own to be part of the asylum support teams and teams of experts working on surveillance. Cooperation with third countries has also been strengthened.
fundamental rights officer
At the request of the MEP, the agency will have a Fundamental Rights Officer who will be responsible for ensuring that it complies with the Fundamental Rights in the course of its activities. More generally, they would promote respect for fundamental rights in asylum policy. The Fundamental Rights Officer will also be in charge of the new grievance mechanism.
A pool of 500 experts
The new agency will establish a pool of 500 national experts, who can be deployed at the request of member states in asylum support teams, and provide technical and operational support on the ground.
Monitoring the situation in member states
From 31 December 2023, the agency will monitor whether various aspects of the common asylum system are being implemented on the ground in member states, such as conditions of reception, respect for fundamental rights and child protection safeguards, and respect for procedural safeguards. . Provisions for a thorough monitoring system as well as the capacity and preparedness of Member States in situations of disproportionate pressure will come into force with the repeal of the current Dublin Regulation.
Parliament’s envoy to the proposal Elena Yonacheva (S&D, BG) said: “Today is a historic day for EU asylum policy. Not only will we have a de facto full asylum agency in the EU, but we have also showed that it is possible to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The new agency is the first building block towards a new CEAS based on meaningful solidarity, effective asylum procedures and strong protection of fundamental rights.
The agreed text would have to be approved by Parliament—first by the Civil Liberties Committee and then by the Full House—and by the Council, to be implemented.