On 16th September the Commission published the Communication “Schengen governance – strengthening the area without internal border control”, intended to deal with the cracks we saw developing in the regime over the summer months with various MS talking of wanting to reintroduce internal checks and borders.
As with other elements of a broader significance to the EU’s work in migration and asylum, this Monitor is not the place to provide an in-depth analysis of the Communication and we will limit ourselves to highlighting the instances where EASO is referred to in the report.
The EASO Communication reiterates the fundamental principle that the entire Schengen system “relies on mutual trust that each participating State will be ready and able to implement the various legislative instruments comprising the Schengen acquis.” It is this context that EASO is seen to be relevant, as one of the tools offered by the EU to the MS to facilitate and ensure their appropriate implementation of the relevant instruments, together with Frontex and other support measures.
In this respect, the Communication clearly focuses its attention on one of EASO’s core duties, albeit currently its more popular core duty: supporting MS facing particular pressures. In Annex I (specifically page 9), where it lists those EU measures available to MS to assist them in controlling their borders, the Communication mentions that EASO could offer support in the form of Asylum Support Teams providing needed technical advice or also processing of asylum-seekers.