New EU Asylum Agency to monitor migrants’ conditions ‘on the ground’ in member states

A deal brokered between the European Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council on Tuesday will see the new EU Asylum Agency monitoring the conditions of migrants 'on the ground' in the individual member states


A deal brokered between the European Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council on Tuesday will see the new EU Asylum Agency monitoring the conditions of migrants “on the ground” in the individual member states.

The new oversight mechanism will kick into action as from 31 December 2023, and it will ascertain whether individual member states are applying the various aspects of the common asylum system on the ground in member states.

Amongst the areas to be monitored will be the conditions at reception centres, respect for migrants’ fundamental rights and child protection safeguards, as well as respect for procedural safeguards.

The fully-fledged monitoring system, as well as new provisions on member states’ capacity and preparedness in situations of disproportionate pressure, will enter into force together with the repeal of the current Dublin Regulation.

Pool of 500 experts ready for deployment to member states in need

The new Agency will also establish a pool of 500 national experts that can be deployed at the request of the member states in asylum support teams, and provide technical and operational assistance on the ground.

Elena YONCHEVA (S&D, BG), Parliament’s rapporteur for the proposal, commented, “Today is a historic day for the European Union’s asylum policy. Not only will we have a real fully-fledged Asylum Agency in the EU, but we have also shown that it is possible to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

“The new Agency is the first building block towards a new CEAS based on meaningful solidarity, effective asylum procedures and stronger protection of fundamental rights.”

Enhanced operational and technical powers

The new EU Asylum Agency, with enhanced operational and technical powers, aims to facilitate cooperation among member states and contribute to converging asylum standards.

The provisional agreement reached on Tuesday puts an end to several years of stalemate in the Council over the creation of the proposed Agency, which will turn the EU Asylum Support Office (EASO), into a fully-fledged agency.

The text strengthens the current EASO, which has been operational and located in Malta since 2011, and turns it into an independent agency that will develop operational standards, indicators, guidelines and best practices on asylum-related matters, and will provide operational assistance to member states including in crisis situations as well as on relocation and resettlement.

To improve the functioning of the common asylum system, it will support practical cooperation and information exchange on asylum among member states. The agency will get additional financial and human resources, including enough of its own staff to form part of the asylum support teams and the teams of experts working on monitoring. Cooperation with third countries has also been strengthened.

As the agreement is still provisional, the text will have to be approved by the European Parliament - first by the Civil Liberties Committee and then by the full House in Plenary session - and by the Council, to enter into force.

Fundamental Rights Officer instituted

At the request of MEPs, the Agency will have a Fundamental Rights Officer responsible for ensuring it complies with fundamental rights in the course of its activities. More generally, they will promote the respect of fundamental rights in asylum policy. The Fundamental Rights Officer will also be in charge of the new complaints mechanism.

These articles are part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. These articles reflect only the authors’ view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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