Friday, 4 February 2011

Seconded National Experts wanted for EASO...more news from yesterday

This is a news item taken from today’s The Malta Independent. Note the last sentence where the newspaper reports that the Commission published a call for Seconded National Experts (SNE), the first group of staff members to work with Mr. Visser. For more information of the status, roles and recruitment of SNE’s you can obtain additional information here.

There is no information available as to the details of the call...how many persons, for what tasks, what specialisations are required, application procedure, etc. Yet from a reading of the Regulation and also of the priority tasks identified in the first Management Board meeting, it is not difficult to envisage the main areas that ought to be covered by this first call...I wouldn’t be surprised to see these first tasks being the establishment of the structure and content of the Office’s Annual Report; the Country of Origin portal, possibly already with a focus on the countries of particular interest such as Somalia, Iraq or Afghanistan; the deployment to Greece of the Asylum Support Teams; the role and composition of the Consultative Forum (civil society) and possibly the European Asylum Curriculum.

According to the EU’s site:

“The Commission recruits Seconded National Experts from EU countries via their Permanent Representations to the EU. If you are interested in working as an SNE, you should initially enquire at your Permanent Representation to the EU. There you should be put in touch with the person responsible for managing SNE recruitment from your Member State who can deal with your request.”

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EASO gets its first executive director
by Scott Grech

Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici yesterday afternoon received a courtesy call from Robert Visser, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

Giving some details about the EASO, Dr Mifsud said Malta had been the fourth out of the 12 countries which joined the EU in 2004, following Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, to have attracted an agency. Malta won the bid to host the EASO in November 2009.

This agency addresses migration and will operate on a €40 million budget throughout the period 2010-2013. Following consultations between Malta and the European Commission, plans are in hand for additional works and services to be carried out within the EASO’s premises in Marsa. It is expected that this investment will be to the tune of €2.6 million.

“The aim of the EASO is to help strengthen practical cooperation among EU states on asylum and to improve the implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

“The Maltese government made a major effort to drive forward Malta’s bid to host the EASO and this effort has paid off in one of the quickest agency decisions of recent years.

“Besides the prestige of hosting such an important agency, and the economic benefits that this will bring to the country, the EASO will also deliver tangible results to overburdened EU states in the area of asylum,” said Dr Mifsud Bonnici.

Dr Visser himself commented that he is very looking forward to working in Malta, but stressed that the EASO is a support office – and that final decisions rest solely on National Human Rights Institutions.

“Asylum is a very delicate subject, so we must ensure that we work as closely as possible with supporting agencies and ensure that there is no room for discrimination when it comes to this subject between the 27 EU states,” said Dr Visser.

Once operational, it is estimated that the agency will have a minimum number of 60 staff which will rise to 100 and 120 by 2013, which will also include asylum support teams.

Dr Visser’s appointment was chosen by around 80 delegates from all EU states, with the European Parliament approving his nomination on 9 December.

The European Commission has now issued a call for seconded national experts (SNEs) with expertise in various areas of asylum areas, who will assist Dr Visser in the setting up of the office over the next few months.

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