The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) is the successor to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). EUAA is an important part of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Its purpose is to facilitate the harmonisation of asylum systems within the EU and to strengthen cooperation among Member States. EASO became operational on 19 June 2011. On 11 November 2021, the EU Parliament gave the green light for the transformation of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) into a fully-fledged EU Agency (EUAA) with an extended mandate. The agency officially started its work on 19 January 2022 and is based in Malta.
EUAA helps Member States to pursue a more just and consistent asylum policy. For instance, it supports Member States to determine and share best practices in the asylum procedure, it organises joint training courses for national authorities, and it coordinates the exchange of country-of-origin information among Member States. EUAA also supports Member States when their asylum systems are subject to serious pressure. In order to do this, it deploys support teams to the Member States concerned. These teams provide technical and operational support to the authorities, for example, by encouraging the reorganisation of an area of activity or by training local staff.
Since 2015, EUAA and its predecessor EASO have carried out support missions in Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Malta, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden and Belgium.
Neither EUAA nor EASO are part of the Schengen and Dublin agreements. Switzerland was thus not obliged to participate on the basis of these association agreements. However, the Federal Council approved Swiss involvement in EASO and passed the agreement between Switzerland and the EU on EASO participation on 26 March 2014. This agreement came into effect on 1 March 2016 and also regulates Switzerland's cooperation with EUAA until a new agreement is concluded.
EUAA participation allows Switzerland to contribute to a more effective and fairer asylum system in Europe. It may also help to reinforce the Dublin System. This is in the interests of not only Switzerland and the other Dublin States, but also of the migrants in need of protection.
In specific terms, Switzerland has access to a large volume of information, and benefits from the expertise of other Member States, sharing its own information with them. In addition, participating in EUAA allows Switzerland to take part in missions organised by the Agency and various other activities (board meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.).
Last modification 03.08.2022