Tuesday, 10 September 2013

EASO issued Quarterly Asylum Report - Q1 2013

As it might have already come to our readers’ attention, EASO has issued its ‘Quarterly Asylum Report – Q1 2013’. The Report provides an analysis of data regarding applications for international protection and respective decisions in European Union (EU) Member States (MS), Norway and Switzerland.

There is no open consultation on this Report and this comes to confirm our opinion (click here to see our earlier post) that EASO is only committed to asking for civil society cooperation whenever it is an obligation to do so under the EASO Regulation.
Nevertheless, we have read the Report and we want to give an opinion on it, so here it goes shortly for our readers.

We think that the document provides thorough information and could become a key instrument to improve solidarity within and outside the European Union.

Indeed, the detailed data provided therein reveal discrepancies in the numbers of asylum applications and decisions that can very well explain the pressure some MS feel in their asylum systems.

Still, we think that the Report would better contribute to improvements in the implementation of the Common European Asylum System would it also have included a chart comparing the number of applications (and decisions) to that of the receiving countries’ population.

As for the external dimension, it is undeniable that the Report is extremely focused on it, by considering the “[k]ey trends in focus” (title of Section 3) those related to the main countries of origin.

As we outlined in our feedback to the ‘Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union 2012’, aditus considers that this focus in the main countries of origin of applicants is important to identify priorities in the context of the European Union’s (EU) external and aid policy.

Nevertheless, we cannot agree with the systematic collectivisation throughout the report of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and FYROM (under the categorisation of Western Balkans) - with only a few references separately to each of these countries. Whilst we understand that these countries’ applicants for international protection share similarities to consider, we would rather recommend a separate approach with sporadically justified references to these countries as one group.
Bar chart in p. 23 of the Report, which shows that actually inflows from each of the Western Balkan countries can vary significantly

As a final note, we underline that, in our view, the most important feature of this and future similar reports is its potential to contribute to the debate concerning needed improvements in the Common European Asylum System.

We hope the document is given all its usefulness in this sense and that civil society opinion is taken into account for the purpose of identifying the needed improvements and ways to achieve them.

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