Monday, 24 June 2013

Happy Birthday EASO, World Refugee Day & FRA

Happy Birthday, EASO!! 

The fully operational European Asylum Support Office (EASO) turned two years old last week (Wednesday, 19 June). 

On the occasion of this second birthday, Malta’s Nationalist Party (PN) – opposition party – described EASO as “a major achievement and a feather in the cap of the work carried out in the last legislature in this challeging sector”, also standing out the agency’s “great economic and strategic importance to Malta”.

EASO becomes fully operational: Dr Visser, EASO Executive Director, Commissioner Malmstrom, Hon Gonzi, Prime Minister of Malta and Hon Mifsud Bonnici, Malta’s Former Minister for Home Affairs and Local Government, signing a declaration to this effect on 19 June 2011 (EASO website).

Read more where we found it: ‘PN hails success of European Asylum Support Office’, MaltaToday, 20 June 2013.

World Refugee Day 2013! 

World Refugee Day was also last week (20 June).  Were you involved in any civil society debate and/or events?

Here in Malta we were involved in the preparation of a series of events to celebrate this occasion, together with other organisations based in Malta. The events started on 11 June, but some are yet to come (26, 28 and 29 June).

You can check the programme online (click here to go to our website’s ‘World Refugee Day 2013!’ page) and try to attend if you happen to be around!

Isn't it strange that the EU's asylum agency said nothing on World Refugee Day?

Agreement with FRA 

In late April we underlined EASO’s absence in the 6th Fundamental Rights Platform Meeting (organised by the Fundamental Rights Agency) and urged for a stronger cooperation. 

It is now time to welcome the FRA and EASO working arrangement - ‘Working Arrangement Between the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (EASO)’. It was signed on 11 June 2013 and entered into force on the same day.

Signing of the EASO-FRA working arrangement (EASO website).

“The Stockholm Programme highlights that the area of freedom, security and justice must above all be a single area in which fundamental rights are protected and calls for a Europe of responsibility, solidarity and partnership in migration and asyum matters”, states recital (4) of the preamble.

As mentioned in the corresponding Press Release (03/2013), the “working agreement covers the fields of training, quality support, operational cooperation, research, information and analysis, as well as horizontal cooperation”.

We’re looking forward to seeing to which practical extent these written agreements will be reflected in the consolidation of these two agencies mutual cooperation.

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