EASO offers different kinds of specific operational support to Member States. For further information regarding the content of the signed support agreements by EASO and the Member States, please see the page Archive of operations.
- Special support refers to tailor‑made assistance in order to improve the implementation of the CEAS: capacity building, facilitation and coordination of relocation, specific support and special quality control tools.
- Emergency support refers to organising solidarity for Member States subject to particular pressures by providing temporary support and assistance to repair or rebuild asylum and reception systems.
- Member States who are in need of external help in the management of their specific case-load can request from EASO the deployment of Joint Processing Support Teams. The joint processing activities are launched by EASO and the respective hosting Member State, after the Terms of reference, including the main criteria of deployment of the joint processing teams, have been agreed upon.
- Furthermore, EASO Work Programme 2016, REV2, chapter II.1 Operational Support, establishes the following: ‘EASO will provide emergency support to EU+ countries subject to particular pressure by deploying EU+ countries’ experts in the form of Asylum Support Teams (ASTs) or by providing other support as required, including through Joint Processing Support Teams as per the European Agenda on Migration and the “Hotspot” approach taken therein. EASO will cooperate with relevant bodies in the provision of such support, devoting special attention to operational cooperation with Frontex and other stakeholders’.
EASO support to Cyprus
EASO and Cyprus signed on 5 June 2014 a Special Support Plan which provides for EASO support to Cyprus, until July 2015, in a number of areas, such as training of staff, vulnerable groups, advice on age assessment procedures, enhancing the reception conditions, as well as on data collection and analytical capacity (i.e. statistics and information technology). Cyprus requested support following the additional pressure on its asylum system, mainly due to their geographical proximity to an area that produces a particularly high percentage of asylum applicants. Given the need for an extention of the duration of the Plan and adjusted needs in the scope of the support measures, EASO and Cyprus agreed to extend their cooperation by first amendment (July 2015 - February 2016) and second amendment (April 2016 - February 2017).
See the Press Release.
EASO support to Italy
On 4 June 2013, EASO and Italy signed a Special Support Plan which provided for EASO special support to Italy, until the end of 2014, in a number of prioritised areas, such as data collection and analysis, Country of Origin Information (COI), Dublin system, reception system and emergency capacity, and training of independent judiciary. Anticipating the implementation of the new EU asylum package while facing large fluctuations in the number of arrivals of immigrants together with the need of keeping a high standard asylum and reception process, have motivated Italy to ask EASO for assistance in reinvigorating its asylum and reception systems.
On 11 March 2015, EASO and Italy signed Phase 2 of the Special Support Plan, continuing the operational support to the National Asylum Commission, building on the COI research capacity and providing for joint processing of pending cases in the Dublin procedure.
EASO support to Greece
Following a request made by the Greek government, in February 2011, EASO agreed to support Greece with its establishment of the new Asylum Service, First Reception Service, Appeal Authority, and reception in general and reduction of the backlog via the deployment of experts from the different EU Member States via the so‑called ASTs. The first phase of EASO support to Greece ended in March 2013. Following a request made by the Greek Government in early 2013 for further support, EASO continued to support Greece until December 2014. In this second phase EASO supported Greece via the deployment of ASTs, which provided training on nationality establishment (in close cooperation with Frontex) and support on EU funding, support on the collection and analysis of statistical data and support in the field of COI.
On 13 May 2015, following a request by Greece to further improve and enhance the Greek asylum and reception system, the EASO Executive Director decided to render Special Support to Greece by providing expertise from EASO and the EU Member States up to the end of May 2016. The request for further support by EASO was inspired by the will to ensure sustainability of the good results achieved within the context of previous EASO support to Greece (under the Operating Plan to Greece Phase 1 and 2), so that the current and future challenges can be adequately addressed. It was concluded that there is a need for supporting the training of staff, setting up an effective guardianship system for unaccompanied minors, in particular within the asylum procedure, enhancing the quality of the asylum and reception procedures, as well as better managing of EU funding which complements the national budget.
EASO support to Bulgaria
EASO and Bulgaria signed on 17 October 2013 an Operating Plan which provides for EASO support to Bulgaria, until September 2014, in a number of areas, such as: identification and pre-registration of mixed migration flows; registration of asylum seekers and referral of unaccompanied minors and vulnerable persons to the appropriate asylum procedure; supporting the asylum decision process; providing Country of Origin Information; delivering core training in EASO Curriculum Modules for newly hired staff and; offering expertise on the absorption of emergency financial support to Bulgaria under EU Funds (SOLID Programme). Following a request made by the Bulgarian government in October 2014 for further support, EASO continues to support Bulgaria until June 2016. As outlined in the Special Support Plan, EASO currently focuses on institutional capacity building, quality assurance mechanisms and responding to the special needs of vulnerable groups.
EASO support to Luxembourg
On 10 January 2012 EASO received a request for support from the Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration of Luxembourg, Nicolas Schmit. Following this request, on 11 January 2012, the Executive Director of EASO pledged Asylum Support Teams to Luxembourg. On 26 January 2012 the operating plan on the Deployment of Asylum Support Teams to Luxembourg was signed. EASO Asylum Support Teams were deployed in Luxembourg from 30 January to 8 February 2012.
See the Press Release.
EASO support to Swedish Migration Board
EASO and SMB signed a Special Support Plan on 21 December 2012. The Special Support Plan was a result of indications in the EASO Early Warning and Preparedness. Support was rendered from December 2012 to February 2013. Support measures included training sessions by EASO experts.