Sunday, 19 January 2014

News for the New Year: Newsletter November/December, UNHCR, Know Reset, Greek First Reception Service, Consultative Forum Presentations

We bring you several updates concerning the activities of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and interesting reading material.

EASO Newsletter November/December

The last newsletter’s edition of the year gave us a clue of how 2014 was about to start!

Still in November 2013, EASO convened a meeting on resettlement and another one on relocation (p. 7), the National Common Portal Administrators met (p. 8), the kick-off meeting for the EASO Operating Plan to Bulgaria took place and a second joint training session on identity and nationality establishment was organised in the framework of the Operating Plan to Greece (p. 10).

As for 2014, EASO is taking over, since the beginning of January, of the Chair of the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies network (p. 2) and is providing support to the Italian Judiciary within the framework of the existing Special Support Plan (p. 5).

We were very happy to find, in this edition, some update information on EASO Special Support Activities in Italy – have a look at page 9.

Finally, we would like to bring to your attention the newsletter section on EASO’s cooperation with the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (p. 13) and to the one on the working arrangement between EASO and the UNHCR (pp. 1 and 6). Concerning this last arrangement, read also next section of this post.

The November/December edition of the newsletter can be found in EASO’s website (click here) or in EASO’s facebook page! That’s right, EASO is now on Facebook!

Working Arrangement with UNHCR

Even though a practical cooperation between the two agencies existed already (as Dr. Robert K. Visser, EASO Executive Director, underlined when signing the agreement), this agreement came as a result of an effort to further strengthen this cooperation. “This is of crucial importance, not least as we face a humanitarian crisis unparalleled in recent history at Europe’s doorstep, with the displacement of millions of Syrian refugees.”, stated António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Dr. Robert K. Visser and António Guterres signing the working arrangement (EASO website)

As can be read in the press release (PR 14/2013, of 13 December), the main areas of cooperation envisaged by the working arrangement include training and professional development, exchange of best practices and expertise on quality initiatives and projects, Country of Origin Information, data and information gathering and analysis, identifying vulnerable persons, and resettlement and relocation activities.

Know Reset project and EASO’s role in the resettlement process

We have mentioned the project Know Reset (‘Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach of Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States’) a few times in our blog (see, e. g., the guest post from Frank Mc Namara, Research Assistant on the project).

The project has now come to an end with the publication of its Final Report, where EASO is mentioned a couple of times. We also advise the reading of another report published in the framework of this same project: ‘Refugee Resettlement in the EU: The capacity to do it better and to do it more’. In this last report, EASO’s role in the resettlement process is addressed (pp. 42 and 43).

Enjoy the reading!

Dr. Robert Visser meets with the Director and the employees of the Greek First Reception Service
Mr. Panagiotis Nikas and Dr. Robert K. Visser (EASO website)

According to EASO’s first press release of the year (PR 01/2014, of 14 January), the purpose of the meeting held this week was to discuss the state of play regarding the Operating Plan to Greece.

EASO’s Executive Director, Dr. Robert K. Visser, and Mr. Panagiotis Nikas, Director of the First Reception Service, discussed the priorities in the field of reception and implementation of the Operating Plan.

Read the press release for more background information, both on the Operating Plan (Phases I and II) and on the First Reception Service.

Presentations during the EASO Consultative Forum 2013

The EASO Consultative Forum took place on the 27th and 28th November last year (see our earlier posts here and here) and you can now see the presentations held at this occasion, which are available here:,
Thanks for sharing these links with us, EASO!


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