Fedasil, the EU and reception
At legislative level, the ‘Reception Directive’ establishes minimum standards for the reception of applicants for international protection within Europe. In the past, Member States had different and sometimes inadequate practices. The new Reception Directive, adopted by the European Parliament on 12/06/2013, aims at guaranteeing the highest and most harmonised standards within the Union. For information on the ‘Reception Directive’, visit the European Commission website.
Fedasil is involved in the operational and support missions of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) within the European Union (in Greece and Italy, for example) and beyond. The agency is also an active member of the EASO Network of Reception Authorities.
EASO: towards a common European system
The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), created on 19 May 2010, is an agency whose headquarters are located in Malta and which plays a key role in the development of the Common European Asylum System. The role of EASO consists in:
- developing practical cooperation between Member States by facilitating exchange of information about countries of origin and the training of officers;
- supporting States subject to particular pressure, via the creation of an early warning system and the coordination of teams of experts;
- implementing the common European system by promoting exchanges of good practices, by writing an annual report on the asylum situation in the EU, and by producing manuals and procedures on the application of EU instruments in the field of international protection.
Fedasil contributes with its expertise to the operational and support activities developed and coordinated by EASO. Teams of experts have therefore been sent to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Italy to take part in the implementation of emergency and support plans signed between EASO and the national authorities. Others are sent to Malta, where they participate in the creation of training modules or in the writing of reference documents for European reception agencies.
EASO Network of Reception Authorities
In 2011, the European Platform of Reception Agencies (EPRA) was created at the initiative of Fedasil and other national agencies in charge of the reception of applicants for international protection. During several years, Fedasil was in charge of its coordination, with the support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Via this platform, Fedasil wanted to stimulate the exchange of strategic information at management level and reinforce the effective, efficient and informed management of the reception of applicants for international protection in Belgium and Europe, and thereby contribute to the development of a common European system in this field.
In 2016, EPRA and EASO defined together the modalities of a transition phase for 2017 and 2018, during which the EPRA activities would be gradually integrated into EASO. EPRA supported EASO by implementing new activities and developing technical tools, before it ultimately bowed out at the end of 2018.