Sunday, 27 February 2011

EASO in the 2009 'Quattro Paper'

It is very clear by now that EASO features prominently on the agenda of the southern EU MS. EASO is seen as a tool to enhance EU solidarity for what is perceived by these states as a serious asylum/migration crisis threatening national and regional stability. This week’s coming together of the 6 Mediterranean states to discuss and prepare a common position to prepare at the JHA Council Meeting was not the first in such efforts.

In 2009, the Italian, Greek, Cypriot and Maltese governments concretised their concerns in a paper informally known as the ‘Quattro Paper’, also including a list of proposals. As stated in the paper, the governments’ aims were to seek solutions to alleviate their burdens, reduce the loss of lives, increase regional security and discourage illegality.

EASO features as one of the proposals (page 4):

“Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta assign particular importance to the establishment of the European Asylum Support Office, and urge the Council and the Commission to act expeditiously with a view to ensuring that this Office is established at the earliest possible.”

Although the recommendation itself is not too substantial, it precedes the governments’ asylum-related proposals, indicating their expectations of the Office:

  • increased resources to deal with reception and protection of asylum-seekers;

  • revision of the Dublin II Regulation;

  • formalisation of a system for the intra-EU reallocation of beneficiaries of international protection;

  • long-term residence for beneficiaries of international protection;

  • cooperation with IOM and UNHCR “for people outside the territory of the EU who request protection.”

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