Thursday, 3 March 2011

EASO sends first team to Greece

There’s a reference to EASO on Cecilia Malmstrom’s personal blog today.

Roughly translated (she blogs in Swedish):

“Within my remit, I have a number of European authorities. Europol and Frontex are perhaps the most famous, and I have almost daily contact with them. But I am also responsible for CEPOL, which is responsible for police training, EMCDDA, Office for Drug Information and the newly formed Asylum Support Office EASO in Valetta. Today I met Mr. Banfi, head of CEPOL, and Robert Visser Head of EASO. While we spoke we understood the situation in Greece where EASO has an expert team that helps to support the Greek government.

This afternoon I've had a long meeting with ECRE, a coordinating body for European refugee organizations. We talked about the situation in Libya and Tunisia, and how we can work together in North Africa but also in Europe in case great waves of refugees arrive here. A few hundred people have arrived in Lampedusa in recent days but the high flows will continue to Tunisia, where the situation is chaotic.”

The reference to EASO having an expert team in Greece is a reference to the end of the RABITs operation (2 November 2010 - 2 March 2011), seemingly replaced by last week’s deployment to Greece of EASO’s first asylum support team, as also reported here and here.

This is EASO’s first operational effort, we curious to see how it will perform.

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