EASO and relocation
EASO supports Member States which are faced with specific and disproportionate pressures with activities related to relocation of international protection applicants within the European Union.
Currently, EASO is supporting Italy and Greece with the implementation of the EU relocation scheme in line with the European Agenda on Migration. EASO has a number of activities and responsibilities in the Relocation process and provides specific support to facilitate the implementation of the relocation programme by:
- Deploying and coordinating Special Support Teams and Asylum Support Teams, composed of Member States experts, to Italy and Greece;
- Facilitating direct cooperation and exchange of information between National Contact Points (NCPs) of the Member States of Relocation and Italy and Greece;
- Monitoring of the overall relocation process;
- Developing tools in support of specific steps in the relocation procedure and particularly in the information provision and the vulnerability assessment;
- Implementing a Relocation communication package, including information leaflets in non-EU languages, mobile app, Relocation videos.
On 9 October 2015, the first transfer relocating 19 asylum applicants between Italy and Sweden took place. One year later, more than 14,000 applicants have been relocated from Italy and Greece. The map below displays the number of applicants relocated as of 20 March 2017. Circles are sized by number of relocation transfer. Click a country to view relocation to/from that country.
EASO’s role in Italy
EASO supports Italy with the provision of technical and operational assistance since 2013.
Operational support to Italy in the context of hotspots and relocation was launched since mid-September 2015.
EASO experts in Italy provide operational support in the three main areas:
- Provision of relevant information to potential applicants for relocation of eligible nationalities. Those activities are conducted in all operational hotspots in Italy;
- Moreover, EASO Mobile teams for information provision are deployed in Rome and in Catania to swiftly cover relevant locations and points of disembarkation;
- Handling registrations of applicants for international protection, in view of the relocation procedure, in a number of regional hubs and by a roving team;
- Handling outgoing Dublin take charge requests for relocation cases. Those activities are conducted in the Dublin Unit in Rome.
EASO’s role in Greece
EASO’ support to Greece, with the deployment of EASO Asylum Support Teams to assist with the Asylum procedures, dated 2011.
Since 2015, EASO provides support to Greece, in the context of hotspot and relocation, by performing a number of tasks:
- Identification of potential applicants for international protection and active information provision about the international protection system in Greece and the relocation procedure in general; in addition, advice on nationality assessment and possible exclusion issues to caseworkers registering relocation candidates;
- Processing outgoing Dublin take charge requests, including relocation cases;
- Detection of possible document fraud.
Besides EASO’ work on relocation, EASO teams in the hotspots work on the operational implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement. Since March 2016, EASO has been supporting the Greek Asylum Service with regard to the Greek eligibility and admissibility procedures. To this end, EASO has deployed experts who conduct interviews to ensure systematic individual assessment of the admissibility of each application for international protection in Greece.
*Member States' experts deployed in Italy and Greece. These figures exclude interpreters and EASO staff
Meet a Syrian family that has taken part in the relocation programme:
Omar, Fawzia and their 2 children, Ibrahim and Miral, have been relocated to France (Mirabel, Lyon) thanks to EASO and the EU relocation Programme. After putting their lives at risk, by paying smugglers, they undertook a very dangerous journey to reach Greece. Here they realized how dangerous this was as they could have probably died and they decided to join the EU relocation programme. They arrived in France and…..what next? Watch the video below.