EASO, as the EU centre for expertise on asylum, is focusing its efforts in contributing to the effective, coherent and consistent practical implementation of the EU asylum acquis. With the ultimate goal of achieving a genuinely Common European Asylum System (CEAS), EASO supports EU Member States in the continuous improvement of the quality standards of their asylum systems.
One of the main processes set in EASO with the purpose of supporting Member States in improving the quality of their asylum systems is the EASO Quality Matrix process.
EASO Quality Matrix process in a nutshell
The EASO Quality Matrix process was launched in 2012. It is an initiative through which EASO aims to comprehensively map EU Member States’ practices in implementing key thematic elements of the common legal framework and to identify examples of good practices and available quality tools, relevant projects and initiatives. The Quality Matrix further enables EASO to analyse Member States’ support needs and allows for discussion of current challenges in Member States’ practice along with potential common solutions. Since the beginning of 2014, and building on the mapping, EASO is also developing practical tools providing direct support for the daily functioning of national asylum systems.
Each phase of the Quality Matrix is developed through four main steps:
- Thematic mapping: the mapping aims at capturing Member States’ current practices, existing quality tools and mechanisms, and relevant projects and initiatives and at identifying potential common challenges and support needs. It relies primarily on information provided by Member States.
- Thematic meetings: The key findings of the mapping are presented in a thematic meeting, where Member States have an opportunity to share information and expertise and discuss good practices and current challenges on a particular topic. Some of those thematic meetings are held back-to-back with Contact Committee meetings organised by the European Commission, thus allowing participants to benefit from both thorough overview of current practices and an in-depth legal analysis of the relevant provisions of the asylum acquis.
- Thematic reports: Based on the key findings verified by Member States and on the outcomes of the thematic meetings, EASO prepares thematic reports. The Quality Matrix reports include comparative overview of current practices and capture discussions on challenges and solutions connected to the implementation of the common legislative framework. The thematic reports are intended for internal use by Member States' administrations, EASO, the European Commission and UNHCR.
- Practical tools: EASO develops practical tools based on the information collected in the particular phase of Quality Matrix process and on Member States' expertise, with valuable additional input from the European Commission, UNHCR and other relevant organisations which may be consulted according to the topic and nature of the tool. The topics to be prioritised for the development of those tools are selected in consultation with Member States and according to their current needs. The tools developed under the Quality Matrix process aim at providing direct practical support for those on the ground and translate the legal obligations and good practices in user-friendly tools, such as checklists, guidance, web-based interactive tools, etc.
Quality Matrix: state of play
Quality Matrix thematic mapping
The Quality Matrix process is carried out in phases, systematically covering the core aspects of the CEAS from a procedural and a conceptual point. The following topics have been covered in the first four years of the Quality Matrix mapping:
In response to the pressing need to have a tool in place for timely identification of applicants with special procedural and reception needs, an interactive tool on the identification of persons with special needs was launched in January 2016.
In order to support those officials who are most likely to receive applications for international protection (border guards, coast guards, police officers, etc.) in complying with their obligation to guarantee effective access to the asylum procedure, EASO, together with Frontex and with the close involvement of FRA and UNHCR, also developed toolkit for first-contact officials on access to the asylum procedure.
These and other EASO practical tools are available in a number of different languages and can be accessed here.
For more information on EASO asylum processes (quality) activities, you can contact us by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.