Wednesday, 19 January 2011

What should the Hungarian Presidency (January-June) do with EASO?

It will be under the current Hungarian Presidency of the EU that EASO will (hopefully) make the steps from paper to action, Brussels to Malta. Since this Presidency will cover the Office’s very early months, it is understandable that the Office does not feature too significantly in the Presidency’s programme, entitled ‘Strong Europe’. In fact, the one mention of the Office reiterates view that EASO will essentially be a tool for the better achievement of a more effective Common European Asylum System, particularly in view of its role in 3 areas...“the enhancement of practical cooperation between MS...solidarity measures...legal harmonisation.”

UNHCR is more substantive in outlining what it believes ought to be the impact of the Hungarian Presidency on EASO. In its December 2010 recommendations to Hungary, together with highlighting its readiness and eagerness to fully cooperate with EASO (a cooperation specifically envisaged in the EASO Regulation...see earlier post), UNHCR recommends the following:
  • pending full EASO operationalisation, efforts should be made to improve the situation in Greece;
  • with EASO leadership, the Hungarian Presidency ought to explore the possibility of a pilot project on the internal relocation and joint processing of asylum-seekers.
ECRE has also included EASO in a number of its recommendations to the Hungarian Presidency. The January ECRE Memorandum recommends Hungary to:
  • undertake an evaluation of the first RABIT operation to ensure that the eventual deployment by EASO of the Asylum Expert Teams contributes to strengthening access to European asylum procedures;
  • strengthen the Consultative Forum by bringing to EASO its positive experiences of cooperating with NGOs

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