Tuesday, 5 July 2011

ECRE calls on EU MS and EASO to "ensure a meaningful role for NGO's"

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) has recently published two documents of relevance to EASO.  

‘ECRE Recommendations on the Occasion of the Polish Presidency of the EU (July - December 2011)’ is the document containing ECRE’s comments and recommendations to the incoming Polish Presidency.  It’s become customary for ECRE, and UNHCR, to issue such recommendations to every incoming Presidency.  

Now that EASO is officially established, it’s bound to be included in the recommendations and the ECRE document focuses on EASO in its third section Practical cooperation and responsibility-sharing between EU Member States (pages 5 to 8).  ECRE’s recommendations are as follows (do read the document as the recommendation come at the end of ECRE’s analysis):

  • “Continue to support Greece in implemented its Action Plan on Asylum, addressing immediate needs with respect to access to reception conditions for asylum-seekers and developing a long term strategy to establish a fair and efficient asylum system;
  • Provide for sufficient flexibility and resources in the working plan of EASO to allow it to provide practical support to other EU Member States where necessary in light of increased pressure on their asylum systems;
  • Ensure a meaningful role for NGO’s assisting asylum-seekers and refugees and other relevant non-governmental stakeholders in the activities of the EASO.”

The second document is an interview with Ms. Karolina Macrjanik, Asylum working Party Coordinator for the Polish Presidency of the European Union.  A specific question was asked on EASO:

“The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has been inaugurated on 19 June. What do you expect from the Agency?

The agency is expected to contribute to further develop practical cooperation between asylum systems and bodies in charge of asylum in Member States, in order to allow greater alignment of their practices. It will also provide the necessary support to the most exposed national systems in order to minimize the need for emergency actions.

The EASO should also be responsible for creation of a common source of information since it works in a field where country of origin information might affect the way in which the courts will make judgments. The EASO should also keep in mind the need for strengthening the external dimension of EU asylum policy.”

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