Saturday, 2 February 2013

ECRE intra-EU solidarity paper: emphasising the true aim of solidarity

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) has just published an extremely interesting and analytical document, 'Enhancing Intra-EU Solidarity Tools to Improve Quality and Fundamental Rights Protection in the Common European Asylum System.'

As you probably recall, intra-EU solidarity has featured a number of times on this blog, also here.  This is not only because of its particular relevance to our own national context (Malta), but also - and more importantly - because the core aim of the European Asylum Support Office is in fact solidarity, in its broad sense..."support is our mission."  

ECRE's document is a thorough exposition and analysis of several on-going discussions, and attempts to tackle the several elements of solidarity that are regularly raised in these talks.  These range from the relatively new Early Warning Mechanism, intra-EU relocation of international protection beneficiaries, joint processing of asylum applications and sharing of capacity (resource and technical).

Each section ends with a list of recommendations, all gathered at the document's end.

Given the subject-matter, it is evident and expected that EASO's features prominently in throughout the document.  Examples of EASO-specific recommendations include the three below, but clearly a full and proper reading of the document is strongly suggested, also for its relevant to broader CEAS discussions:

As a key instrument to enhance solidarity in the field of asylum, EASO must be properly resourced to reflect the importance and variety of its tasks and its role as a key player in enhancing solidarity and quality in the CEAS. 

EASO must make full use of the wealth of expertise and experience NGOs have acquired through their work with asylum seekers. EASO must further invest in developing efficient tools and structures to deepen the dialogue with civil society, including an e-platform for consultation. Direct interaction with the Management Board must be established in particular with regard to the feedback and suggestions provided by the Consultative Forum under Article 51 EASO Regulation. 

The Fundamental Rights Agency must systematically monitor and assess EASO’s work in the area of practical cooperation and support to Member States subject to particular pressure as to their compliance with the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. Such assessments and specific recommendations to EASO should be included in the annual report on EASO’s activities." 

The document (.pdf) can be downloaded from the link provided in ECRE's Weekly Bulletin of 1st February.  

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