Tuesday, 12 July 2011

EASO in UK Parliament Q&A

On 4th July UK Conservative MP Oliver Heald asked a parliamentary question to the Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs as to whether he would be making represenations to the Greek authorities on the condition of their detention facilities for asylum-seekers. 

David Lidington, Minister of State (Europe & NATO), Foreign & Commonwealth Office replied as follows:

"The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), is not planning to make representations to the Greek Government. The issue of detention centres is sometimes discussed with Greece at EU Justice and Home Affairs Council discussions, most recently in autumn 2010. The UK also raised the issue in itsintervention at the UN Human Rights Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Greece in Geneva on 9 May 2011.

The UK participates actively in European Union efforts to assist Greece to strengthen its migration and asylum procedures through the effective implementation of its 'National Action Plan for Migration Management'. This support includes the secondment of UK experts to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) to help Greece improve its detention and reception facilities."

Heald asked another question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department as to whether the UK will support southern EU MS efforts in dealing with asylum-seekers.

This was the answer:

"In the last six months, we have sent a number of asylum experts to Greece as members of EU teams coordinated by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Three further UK experts are due to be deployed to Greece in the next few months under the auspices of EASO to support the delivery of improvements to the asylum system there. Separately, the UK has given £238,500 to UNHCR for projects related to asylum reform in Greece.

We have also recently assisted Malta with language analysis to help their authorities determine asylum seekers' countries of origin more effectively, and have made clear both to Malta and Italy our willingness to provide further practical support should it be necessary."

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