Monday, 16 November 2015

EASO 5 Year Conference

On 23 September EASO organised a conference in Malta under the theme: 5 years of EASO and the CEAS; results and perspectives. In its event description, EASO depicted its development in the last 5 years as an ‘evolve[ment] into an independent and impartial centre of expertise’, its role being that of ‘providing comprehensive and timely support to requesting Member States’.

The information presented and discussed at this conference was later published in a separate report. This report provides a straightforward overview of EASO’s functions as well as its cooperative efforts with other agencies. In terms of ‘results and perspectives’, as the title of the conference promised, the report in entirely descriptive and as such, offers no critical insight into the outcomes of EASO’s efforts. As such, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of analysis and ‘perspectives’.

5 years of EASO: where are we now?

As stated above, the report offers a terrific overview of EASO’s functions as it has evolved over its 5 years of existence. However, it is rather uncritical of its own effectiveness.

During its time, EASO has provided operational support to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden. The extent of the report is understandably not sufficiently capacious so as to allow for detailed accounts of each of these operations. Nevertheless, when an EU agency offers a report of its 5 years of functioning, the mere insistence of the provision of ‘guidance’, ‘tailor-made’ efforts, and the ‘strengthening [of] reception capacity’ is a lacklustre proffer. This reiterates a recurring point on the EASO Monitor, that EASO largely operates behind closed doors, and its Operating Plans remain elusive. As has been stated by us previously, this is unacceptable.

The 5 Year Conference and its consequent report staged an opportune setting to rectify this to some degree. Nevertheless, the accountability and transparency of the Agency remain severe issues.

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