- Thanks to Ronny (see his blog at http://polscieu.ideasoneurope.eu/) for sending me the document of 21st October “Common European Asylum System – State of Play” sent from the Council Presidency to the 27 – 28 October JHA Council. The document is provides a quick snapshot update (3 pages) of the status quo with the CEAS negotiations, currently somewhat at a standpoint. You’ll find EASO on the second page, under the section talking of discussions on how to deal with calls to revise the Dublin Regulation. EASO is seen as being a key player in providing the EU and the MS with useful information on the scale of pressures faced by any EU MS;
- EASO against trafficking in human beings. On 20th October Eurojust published a press release on the celebration by all JHA Agencies, including EASO, of the EU’s 5th Anti-Trafficking Day. We had referred to this in an earlier post, yet this press release also provides a link to the Joint Statement signed by the agencies. The statement is certainly welcome news, especially for those sectors that have already made concrete efforts in attempting to ensure a gender-friendly approach in EASO’s works (see here for such efforts by ILGA-Europe, the European Women’s Lobby and Amnesty International END FGM European Campaign). Well done EASO!
- During the 3121st JHA Council Meeting (27 – 28 October), the Ministers adopted a “European Union Declaration on the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees”. Inter alia, the Declaration reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the Convention and to the creation of a CEAS “based on the full and inclusive application of the 1951 Convention”. EASO is mentioned as one of the examples of the EU’s concrete efforts in reaching this goal.
- Have you seen the online countdown indicating the days left for the European Asylum Curriculum to be transferred to EASO? See it here;
- On 25th October, in the UK House of Lords, Lord Laird asked a series of questions to the UK government regarding the suspension of Dublin II transfers from the UK to Greece. Lord Laird asks how many persons have been affected by this policy, how the UK government will assess the Greek situation to establish whether standards have actually improved and whether other EU MS have also suspended such transfers. In response, Lord Henley (Minister of State, Home Office), refers to the N.S. case at the CJEU as well as the M.S.S. case at the ECtHR and mentions EASO’s role in assisting the implementation of the Greek National Action Plan for Managed Migration and Asylum. These questions follow similar questions by Lord Laird on 16th June, to which Baroness Browning replied by saying that the UK had sent a number of asylum experts to Greece as part of EASO’s asylum support team, with 3 more UK experts from EASO’s Asylum Intervention Pool to be deployed to Greece later in 2011. (We had covered other Q&A sessions from the House of Lords on an earlier post.)
- Want to have breakfast with Dr. Rob Visser, EASO Executive Director? The Centre for European Reform is organising an “off-the-record event around a single table” in London. If you’ll be around, do try to pop in. More information available here.