I imagine the spirit at this meeting will be one of anticipation. Having appointed the Executive Director, the Management Board is now keen to see EASO taking shape in order to ensure fulfillment of the Regulation’ s requirement that it be operational by 19th June. Well, not that the deadline is per se anything particularly important, but the need is definitely felt for EASO to immediately step into the Greek situation, where time is indeed of the essence.
For the southern states, this anticipation to get EASO running coincides with their anticipation of summer and what the season will bring with it in terms of boat arrivals from North Africa and other regions. For them, EASO represents a useful tool to assist them in the management of the increased numbers of asylum-seekers. If these asylum-seekers actually do arrive, of course. From a northern perspective, EASO could be yet another EU agency created to appear to resolve an unresolvable political impasse, or possibly the Office is their opportunity to attract some of the EU’s asylum/migration focus away from the south and towards their territories.
EASO’s 2nd Management Board meeting needs to adopt a ‘let’s get to work’ approach, where it discuss urgent substantive issues together with equally urgent logistical matters such as the premises, staffing, budgeting, services, etc.
Over these two days I’ll try gathering further information from the ground, and keep you posted.