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European Asylum Support Office

This regulation contributes to the creation of a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). It provides for the establishment of a European Asylum Support Office to strengthen practical cooperation on asylum by facilitating the exchange of information and experiences between European Union (EU) countries.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 439/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 establishing a European Asylum Support Office.

SUMMARY

This regulation establishes the European Asylum Support Office. The function of the office is to strengthen European Union (EU) countries’ practical cooperation on asylum, to support EU countries whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure and to enhance the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

Support for practical cooperation

The European Asylum Support Office is responsible for facilitating exchanges of information and for identifying and pooling best practice on asylum matters in general. More specifically, the office is responsible for activities relating to the gathering of information concerning countries of origin of asylum seekers. This includes the development of a portal, as well as analysing and reporting on country-of-origin information.

In addition, the office is to provide support for the transfers (“relocation”) within the Union of persons under international protection, for the training of relevant parties and for the external dimension of CEAS.

Support for EU countries under particular pressure

The European Asylum Support Office is to assist EU countries that find their asylum and reception systems under specific and disproportionate pressure due, in particular, to their geographical or demographic situations or due to the sudden arrival of large numbers of non-EU country nationals that need international protection. In order to assess the needs of such EU countries, the office should:

  • gather information relating to emergency measures that help dealing with situations of particular pressure;
  • identify and analyse information on the structures and staff, assistance in managing asylum cases, and asylum capacities of EU countries;
  • analyse data on arrivals of large numbers of non-EU country nationals that might put a country under particular pressure.

Upon request, the office is to support EU countries by coordinating the asylum support teams, as well as actions relating to the initial analysis of applications for asylum and to the rapid set up of suitable reception facilities.

Implementation of CEAS

The European Asylum Support Office is to contribute to the implementation of CEAS, in particular by coordinating the exchanges of information between relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the instruments of the Union’s asylum acquis. For this purpose, the office may establish databases covering asylum instruments at national, European and international levels. In addition, it is to gather information on the processing of asylum applications and on legislation and legislative developments concerning asylum in EU countries.

The office is also responsible for drawing up an annual report on the European asylum situation and may draft technical documents, such as guidelines and operating manuals, on the implementation of EU asylum instruments.

Asylum support teams

Upon request for assistance by one or more EU countries under particular pressure, the European Asylum Support Office may coordinate the deployment of one or more asylum support teams to their territories for an appropriate period of time. These teams are to provide technical assistance, such as interpreting services, information on countries of origin and know-how on managing asylum cases.

The office will not only establish an asylum intervention pool made up of experts, from which the teams are drawn up, but will also draw up a list of interpreters. EU countries are to contribute to this pool with experts from their national pools and to assist in the identification of interpreters. An operating plan is to be established.

A national contact point is to be set up in each EU country for communication on issues concerning the asylum support teams. A Union contact point for coordination is created from one or more experts of the office.

Administration and management

The European Asylum Support Office is established in the form of a regulatory agency. It will be fully operational by 19 June 2011.

The planning and monitoring authority of the office is its management board. It consists of one member from each EU country, of two members from the Commission and of a non-voting member from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The term of office of management board members is three years, renewable.

The management board appoints the executive director from candidates selected via an open competition. The executive director is responsible for managing and acting as the legal representative of the office. The term of office of the executive director is five years, renewable once for three years.

The management board may set up an executive committee from among eight of its members, including the Commission representative, to assist it and the executive director.

The office may set up working parties composed of experts in the field of asylum. The Commission is an ex officio member of the working parties.

A consultative forum is to be established for cooperation between the office and relevant civil society organisations and other competent bodies working on asylum policy at local, regional, national, European or international level. The forum functions as a platform for information exchanges, for pooling knowledge, as well as for providing expertise and advice on issues related to asylum. It is coordinated by the executive director.

The revenues of the office mainly consist of a contribution from the general budget of the EU and of contributions from EU (voluntary) and associate countries.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EU) No 439/2010

18.6.2010

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OJ L 132, 29.5.2010

RELATED ACTS

Decision 2010/762/EU of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 25 February 2010 determining the seat of the European Asylum Support Office [Official Journal L 324 of 9.12.2010].
This decision establishes the seat of the European Asylum Support Office at Valetta Harbour, Malta.

Last updated: 17.02.2011
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