European Union Agency for Asylum: Council ready to start negotiations with Parliament
Veronica Huertas Cerdeira
Press officer (Home affairs; Counter-terrorism coordination)
On 20 December 2016, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed, on behalf of the Council a mandate for negotiations on the regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum. On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament.
"To tackle irregular migration and to improve the management of the asylum systems requires action on various fronts. This includes the transformation of the EASO into a proper EU Agency for Asylum. Today, the Council is taking an important step in that direction, as we have an agreement on the main building blocks of the agency. Our objective is to ensure that it can support the member states in implementing the Common European Asylum System and provide technical and operational assistance."Robert Kaliňák, Minister for the Interior of Slovakia and President of the Council
EU Ambassadors endorsed the text of the mandate ('partial general approach') on the understanding that the parts relating to other files of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) reform will be revisited once there is agreement on them.
The proposal for a European Union Agency for Asylum aims to improve the implementation and functioning of the CEAS by building on the work of the current European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
The new regulation will further develop EASO into a fully-fledged Agency responsible for facilitating the functioning of the CEAS, for ensuring convergence in the assessment of applications for international protection across the Union, and for providing operational and technical assistance to Member States.
Following its Communication of 6 April 2016 on the reform of the common European Asylum System, the Commission presented in May and in July seven legislative proposals, including the above-mentioned proposal for a regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum, with a view to:
- improving the functioning of CEAS by eliminating differing treatment of asylum seekers and varying recognition rates among member states;
- reducing secondary movements and contributing to a fairer distribution among the Member States of the responsibility to offer protection to those in need.