Monday, 29 April 2013

EASO & fundamental rights...

The 6th Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) Meeting came to an end last week, after a full programme covering the 25th and 26th April. 

We (aditus foundation) are a member of the FRP, but were unable to attend the meeting due to resource constraints.  While we were following the event's discussions, EASO's absence was brought to our attention by friends present in Vienna.

As a human rights NGO working to strengthen the human rights approach to asylum and migration, we definitely believe that cooperation with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) should be a main priority for EASO. 

Management Board Chairperson Maija Sakslin and
FRA Director Morten Kjaeurm answer questions (photo from FRA website).

Firstly, and from a very practical perspective, because most asylum matters (whether policies, laws or practices) are so closely scrutinized for their human rights compatibility that participation in similar FRP activities could provide EASO an excellent opportunity to  engage with challenging themes, and explore perspectives on how to mainstream fundamental rights in its activities.

Secondly, the FRP presents a forum for interaction with a spectrum of civil society organisations that is broader than that EASO regularly liaises with.

Finally, we should not forget that EASO’s cooperation with FRA is clearly indicated in the Regulation establishing a European Asylum Support Office (article 52). 

We obviously don't know why EASO was not present...but we do think it was a missed opportunity for it to make its presence known and felt within the human rights environment. 

What do you think? Let us know by posting your comments.

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