Asylum Processes

The EUAA supports Member States in the continuous improvement of the efficiency and quality of their asylum systems. To that end, the EUAA Asylum Processes Network and Exclusion Network exchange good practices and challenges and recommendations during practical cooperation meetings. Through these networks the agency facilitates and coordinates the development of practical guides and tools for the use of national asylum administrations on all key aspects of the asylum process. Within these networks efficiency and quality of the asylum procedures are further strengthened by specific focus on quality management and digital innovation.

 

Asylum Processes Network
Asylum Knowledge Icon

The EUAA Asylum Processes Network consists of national contact points specialised in the management and improvement of the asylum processes and quality assurance systems. 

Members of the network can access its restricted area.

Based on the results of the survey and discussions with the EUAA Asylum Processes Network, the topics the Network’s activities for 2022 have been identified.

Thematic network meetings

  • Opens source intelligence and social media for the examination of asylum claims
  • Drafting of asylum decisions
  • Conference on Political opinion in the context of international protection

Practical guides and tools

Following Practical Guides and Tools will be finalized in 2022:

  • Practical Guide on interviewing applicants with religion-based asylum claims
  • Practical Guide on Evidence Assessment (Update)
  • Toolbox on information provision to applicants for international protection, in the context of access to the asylum procedure

Following Practical Guides and Tools will be initiated in 2022:

  • Practical Guide for Interpreters in the asylum procedure
  • Practical Guide on Quality assurance in asylum procedures
  • Toolbox on information provision to applicants for international protection, in the context of the examination of the application and the notification of the decision
  • Practical Guide on Personal Interview (Update)
  • Meanwhile, the APN will be working closely together with the Vulnerability Expert’s Network (VEN) to develop a platform and guidance related to SOGIESC.

Exchange Programme

In 2022, we aim to organise exchange sessions focusing on Personal Interview, Interpretation, Credibility Assessment, Interview Support Software, Family Unity and Contingency Planning.

Practical guides and tools brochure

The EUAA practical guides and tools developed by the Asylum Processes Network aim to support asylum officers with their daily work, offering clear and high-quality guidance that reflects common European standards. The practical guides and tools are developed through a working group of Member State experts and are consulted with the European Commission, UNHCR, civil society organisations and other relevant international organisations and academia, before they are adopted by the EASO Asylum Processes Network.

 

The EUAA organises meetings to exchange perspectives, discuss challenges and formulate common solutions. In addition to the annual meetings of the Asylum Processes Network, thematic meetings are organised on a variety of topics. These include registration and lodging procedures; personal interview; and the examination of an application for international protection as well as efficiency in the asylum procedure; special procedures; litigation processes; and backlog management strategies, etc. 

The Asylum Processes Network exchange programme aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience, and best practices between EU+ country national asylum administrations. It provides the participants with a better understanding of projects, practices and initiatives and allows interaction with key stakeholders. The main objectives include:

  • Foster the mutual learning process between the EU+ countries participating in the programme through explanation of the context, site visits, peer-to-peer discussions, interviews with local stakeholders, joint workshops, job shadowing, etc.;

  • Focus on practical cooperation activities and peer-to-peer collaboration so that participants can obtain a real time experience of the implementation of asylum processes;

  • Openly discuss the advantages and limitations of different processes; 

  • The visiting countries and the host country will both benefit from exchanging experience, identifying best practices, and providing structured feedback.  

Exclusion Network
Exclusion network icons

In 2017, the EUAA established a specialised network of national contact points from the EU and associated countries with the aim of strengthening practical cooperation on issues related to the exclusion from qualification for international protection. 

The network also cooperates with the European Commission, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), other EU agencies and relevant partners for the exchange of information and expertise in the field.

Members of the network can access its restricted area.

In 2022, the Exclusion Network will exchange good practices on interviewing techniques of applicants who have potentially been involved in excludable acts. Practical tools will be developed to support the detection of potential exclusion cases from selected countries. Dedicated attention will go to the development of a support tool which maps relevant international databases which may hold information that can be relevant for examining exclusion cases. Lastly the network will enforce practical cooperation through the organisation of an exchange visit to one of the Member States.

National contact points engage in information sharing, consultation and exchange of knowledge and good practices on exclusion from international protection, including on matters of withdrawal of such protection.

No information on individual cases or personal data of third-country nationals or stateless persons is exchanged. The EUAA coordinates the activities of the network, including the organisation of meetings and facilitates all direct communication between its members. 

The network meets annually to discuss developments during the year and the priorities for the following year. In addition, thematic meetings are organised to address specific needs and challenges concerning, for instance, the detection of potential exclusion cases, the cooperation with relevant actors, evidence particular to exclusion cases, procedural and legal issues, etc.

 

 

Quality Management
Quality Management icon

Quality management systems ensure fair, transparent, and efficient asylum procedures according to the legal standards and policies in place

Quality Management

The EUAA Quality Management within the Asylum Processes Network includes the following activities and tools.

One of the main EUAA processes to support Member States in improving the quality of their asylum systems is the EUAA quality matrix process. 

The EUAA quality matrix process aims to comprehensively map Member State practices, to analyse Member State support needs and to provide solutions through the following activities: 

  • Thematic mapping. EU and associated countries respond to a questionnaire relating to a key element of asylum. 
  • Thematic meeting. The key findings from the thematic mapping are presented to the EU and associated countries.
  • Thematic report. Following the thematic meeting, a thematic report is drafted. After consultation with the EU and associated countries the report is published and used internally.
  • Practical tools. The EUAA develops practical tools based on the information collected in the particular phase of Quality Matrix process and on Member States' expertise. 

The EUAA has produced numerous quality matrix reports covering all core aspects of the asylum procedure, reception and Dublin. This includes access to procedure, personal interview, evidence assessment, eligibility, exclusion, special procedures, appeals procedure, withdrawal of international protection, content of international protection, etc. Certain quality matrix reports on the core asylum aspects are now being updated.   

Quality matrix reports are intended for internal use by the asylum administrations in EU and associated countries. They are therefore only available to the members of the Asylum Processes Network, accessible through the restricted area.

Over the years, quality matrix meetings were organised focusing on various topics, including content of protection, withdrawal of international protection, reception conditions, appeals procedure, Dublin procedure, special procedures, identification of persons with special needs, access to procedure, exclusion, quality and eligibility, quality and evidence assessment, quality and personal interview.

  • Operational standards and indicators

    One of the core tools that quality management systems make use of in order to plan, assess, monitor and improve the asylum processes in place are standards and indicators. Operational standards and indicators support the EU and associated countries in the practical implementation of key provisions of the asylum procedures directive to achieve fair and effective asylum procedures and to strengthen the Common European Asylum System. 

  • Quality Assurance Tool

    The objective of the quality assurance tool is to provide the EU and associated countries with a common framework to systematically assess the quality of asylum interviews and decisions based on common EU standards. The tool can be used for performance assessment, periodic quality review and audits. It can be used to assess the level of quality on an individual level as well as on a process level. The tool also forms a means to detect specific needs and plan relevant follow up measures.

The EUAA organises regular meetings dedicated to the topic of quality management in asylum procedures. The quality management meetings aim to facilitate practical cooperation, mutual learning, and exchange of information on mechanisms, practices, and initiatives regarding the implementation, monitoring and follow up of asylum procedures.  

The EUAA aims to support the assurance of quality during the implementation of the EUAA operational activities in the field, in order to promote the CEAS and common standards in the field. Furthermore, the EUAA aims at capacity building for national quality assurance systems and establishes lifecycle support depending on the situation in the field and the Member State’s needs.

This is achieved through a toolbox of measures:

  • Promotion of the ‘four eye principle’ through the team leader model/concept;
  • Application of the quality assurance tool (QAT);
  • Promotion of a consultation culture on quality through dedicated meetings and platforms that engage both the EUAA and the host authorities;
  • Support in development of standard operating procedures, templates, guidance, and tools;
  • Provision of advice and expertise;
  • Support in quality review exercises on interviews and recommendation reports issued in the field. 
Digital Innovation
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The digitalisation of asylum processes is essential. This is in order to improve the efficiency of asylum procedures and create scalable processes that can cope with sudden increases of new applications.

The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the interest in technological/digital tools. In response, the Asylum Processes Network collected and presented information on these new initiatives and developed practical recommendations on online registrations and on remote interviewing.

Besides investing in digitalising its own practical guides and tools, through networks the EUAA also closely follows the significant efforts made by countries in innovating their asylum and reception systems. 

In 2020 an intra-EUAA horizontal Asylum Digital Innovation Group was established. The group facilitates the exchange of information between centres on asylum and reception-related digital innovation projects in the EU and associated countries and also within the EUAA. The group is also working on strategic objectives and guidelines regarding to the harmonisation of ongoing and planned support activities under this domain.  

Where possible the EUAA aims to transform relevant practical guides into interactive tools and applications. These are adapted for direct use by asylum officers in their daily work. 

Mobile phone app for the core EASO Practical guides

Guidance on asylum procedures is provided in the form of an application for smartphones supporting asylum officials in their daily work.

The EASO Practical Tools app is available in English, French, German, Greek and Spanish. It incorporates the following:

To install the EASO Practical Tools app, click on the badge for your device:

Watch this video for more information on the EASO Practical Tools app.


Quality assurance tool app

The objective of the quality assurance tool is to provide the EU and associated countries with a common framework to systematically assess the quality of asylum interviews and decisions based on common EU standards. The tool can be used for performance assessment, periodic quality review and audits. It can be used to assess the level of quality on an individual level as well as on a process level. The tool also forms a means to detect specific needs and plan relevant follow up measures.

The EUAA organises biennial meetings focused on digital innovation in asylum procedures to allow participants to demonstrate and discuss the latest developments and use of new technologies. The meetings are held in different formats including annual meetings, specific thematic meetings and conferences on various topics related to the digital innovation.