(This post was amended subsequently to publication. We regret any inconvenience and/or misunderstanding caused).
During the past three days the European Asylum Support Office held the National Contact Point meetings for the Interpreters’ Pool (first meeting) and for the Asylum Intervention Pool (second meeting). The meetings took place here in Malta.
Some of the issues that where discussed include the decisions from the EASO Management Board on asylum intervention pools, reimbursement of different costs and the Framework for the EASO list of interpreters.
A discussion on EASO’s involvement of experts from the AIP was a main issue on the agenda, more specifically the allocation of experts to the Greece and Luxembourg operations. The participants also talked about how experts are actually selected and it looks like that in order to nominate experts to the pool, the Member States need to simply send EASO the relevant CV.
In the meeting EASO stated that the General Directors’ of Immigration Services Conference (GDISC) interpretation project will come to an end in June and would not be transferred to EASO. It looks like each MS will be expected to fund its own language analysis, video conferencing equipment, interpreters and other linguistic tools used in the context of asylum procedures.
EASO will however maintain an updated list of interpreters and languages available for the MS.
For those of our readers who are not 100% familiar with these pools or just need a quick reminder, we can refer you to the EASO Work Programme 2012. The following is taken directly from the Work Programme:
The Interpreters’ Pool
‘Generally, it is the responsibility of each MS to ensure interpretation capacity for asylum interviews. The aim of the EASO Interpreters' Pool is to support immigration services that – due to special circumstances – are facing a lack of interpreters for certain languages. This support could be realized by videoconferencing or through on-the-spot interpretation. The EASO Interpreters' Pool will be based on the experience with the GDISC Interpreters' Pool. The activities of the GDISC Interpreters' Pool will be transferred to EASO, following a step-by-step approach. Possible new technical solutions will be taken into account, aiming at ensuring cost-effectiveness without compromising information security.’ (p. 18)
The Asylum Intervention Pool (AIP):
‘According to Article 15 of the EASO Regulation, EASO has established an Asylum Intervention Pool (AIP). In 2012 EASO will possibly have around 400 experts in the AIP (this number includes experts from Denmark). Contact points of the MS and liaison officers of the Commission and UNHCR have been designated for communication with EASO on all matters related to ASTs. Likewise, EASO designated the Union Contact Point for the AIP. Continuing the activities carried out in 2011, one of the main activities of the deployment of ASTs in 2012 will be the support for the Greek Action Plan.’ (p. 12)