Thursday, 19 September 2013

Dr. Robert Visser in the EP


You might remember that we had informed you – here - about the presentation of the ‘Annual Activity Report 2012’ (Activities Report) and the ‘Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2012’ (Annual Report) at the European Parliament LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee) by Dr. Visser. The presentation took place, as planned, in the 5th of September.
Regarding the Activities Report, the Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) limited his presentation to a summary of the main activities of the Agency and how these were developed with “the means” EASO was/is provided.
As for the Annual Report, the Agency’s Director started out by underlining some of the aspects that had already been focused in the Press Release: the total numbers of applications for international protection and main countries of origin.

Table in p. 31 of the Annual Report showing the
total number of Syrian applicants in 2011 and 2012

The number of applications from the Western Balkans countries was, again, one of the first points the Director addressed, stating that some countries of the Western Balkans were grouped in the Annual Report for “good reasons (…) because there are many aspects, characteristics, that apply for the whole six countries of the Western Balkans”. You know aditus  opinion on this and certainly the Annual Report should be detailed about those “reasons”.

In this regard, Dr. Rober K. Visser took the occasion to announce that EASO is undertaking a study of comparable nature on the Western Balkans, showing the pull and push factors, to be presented later this year.
Dr. Robert Visser
Dr. Visser also took the occasion to refer to some available data for the first half of 2013 and he has particularly focused on the greatest number of applicants in this period coming from Russia.

Questions and comments shortly addressed to the Executive Director of EASO right after the presentation touched upon very interesting topics - like the guarantees of “non-refoulement”, a possible legal solution that would aim at protecting the lives of applicants for international protection (before they ever have to consider risking them by crossing the Mediterranean…), reasons for the increased number of applicants coming from Russia, EASO’s assistance to Bulgaria and Greece, the low numbers of relocated people through the EUREMA project, the natural correlation between wars and asylum seekers and the solidarity among Member States.

EASO has also received words of support to its work.

You can watch the video of this presentation and Q&A on the LIBE website, from minutes 10:24:00 to 11:05:00 (Q&A from 10:41:30).

Just as a final note, we would like to mention that the issue of the Relocation Forum was brought up by the MEP Roberta Metsola (by the way, aditus had had a meeting with her in late August). We will try to soon bring you more information on this Forum.


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