“I’m always interested to learn more about the world; every day I learn something new.”
Elina is an expert from Finland, currently deployed at the premises of EASO in Athens. Her task is to provide EASO’s deployed caseworkers with factual information about the countries of origin of applicants, including the human rights and political situation, culture and traditions, the national laws and their implementation. Country of Origin Information (COI) puts the applicant’s account in the appropriate factual context and contributes to the identification of potential risks of harm and persecution, thereby helping the experts to prepare their interviews and draft their opinions.
EASO’s deployed caseworkers perform their duties under high pressure in a fast-changing environment; their requests for COI are usually complex and may be raised at any stage of the procedure. Being a former caseworker herself, Elina understands what type of information her colleagues at the hotspots need. As all COI experts, she has to provide “the most updated, relevant, and unbiased information” as soon as possible in order to support caseworkers with drafting their opinions. COI experts deployed in Athens coordinate with the COI Sector at EASO Headquarters and use the EASO COI Portal (as well as other COI portals, such as Refworld and Ecoi.net), to collect information on countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Cameroon.
As the EU Agency for expertise on asylum, EASO works for the implementation of a genuinely Common European Asylum System (CEAS). EASO’s COI Helpdesk is a valuable tool for the continuous improvement of the quality standards of EU+ countries asylum systems.
For more information on COI: https://coi.easo.europa.eu/