The EUAA has been supporting Italy since 2013, following Italy’s request of assistance to cope with increasing number of arrivals of migrants and the need of keeping high standards in its asylum and reception procedures. The Italian Authorities have received the Agency’s support in the processing of applications for international protection, as well as in enhancing the capacity to absorb the backlog of cases cumulated during the recent years.
The Italy Operational Office has also been putting particular effort in promoting and delivering capacity building activities and on improving the quality of asylum processes and systems.
Building on the results achieved in 2020, EASO support for Italy continued in 2021 with a focus on asylum processes quality and standardisation, on provision of support to the reception system and to ad hoc disembarkations and voluntary relocation exercises.
Presentation of the team
"My name is Claudia and I work for EUAA since 2018. I currently work in support to the Italy Country Operations where I coordinate the implementation of the activities related to the enhancement of the quality and standardization of asylum procedures as well as the cooperation mechanisms among EU MSs, including in emergency situations such as SAR disembarkation events and voluntary relocation. I coordinate the Asylum Support teams deployed at central and local level and facilitate the dialogue with national stakeholders to contribute to ensuring that asylum seekers have access too timely and quality asylum procedures, in line with EU common standards and always considering their specific needs. Working with EUAA has been a challenging but rewording experience since the first day! Being part of the EUAA family and contributing to guaranteeing that the rights of asylum seekers are fully respected enriches me from a professional and personal point of you"
’My name is Massimo Pagnoni, and I am responsible for the EUAA activities in support to the Department of Civil Liberties and Immigration within the Italian Ministry of Interior. I coordinate the deployment of Asylum Support teams in the Prefectures at field level for the implementation of an effective coordination mechanism with the central authorities. The aim is to ensure EU common standards of reception conditions in the allocation of asylum seekers disembarked in Italy to the reception facilities, considering the specific needs of the persons. The possibility to support people upon their arrival in the Italian territory and to timely respond to their needs is sometimes very challenging because it requires to be always available to support colleagues, but it makes me feel helpful for the others and it is enriching my personal life and work experience”.
The Agency has been supporting Greece since February 2011, following a request made by the Greek government. The Agency provided assistance with the establishment and development of the new Asylum Service, the First Reception Service and the Appeals Authority through the deployment of Asylum Support Teams. The Agency’s presence in Greece has grown considerably following the 2015 migration crisis, and especially in 2020, when EASO expanded its operations to include 7 new sites on the Greek mainland and supported the Relocation programme from Greece to EU+ Member States.
In 2021 the Greece Operational Office continued to grow and new measures in support of the Greek Asylum and National Reception Authorities were introduced. The EUAA currently operates in around 50 locations throughout Greece with over 900 personnel of various capacities.
Presentation of the team
I am An, the Operation Officer/Field coordinator for the EUAA activities in Northern Greece since 2018. I started working with EASO in 2017 on the island of Chios, with a background as protection officer.
Being in the field and having the chance to support the asylum offices and reception locations, to work closely with the Greek authorities, to accelerate the asylum procedure, to improve the reception conditions and to have direct contact with asylum seekers, makes my function very interesting.
Working for EASO and now the EUAA helped improve my organizational and soft skills. I have learnt to better listen and observe and to treat each new activity the EUAA implements as a challenge.
For everyone who would like to work in the field with people and concretely support the national authorities, the position of Operation officer has it all!
An Rita Buys
Hi, I am Komninos, I have been working in EASO since July 2017 in the Greece Operational Offices. I started as an interim in the Athens office working on finance/procurement and logistics. Since August 2020 I am an administrative assistant acting as contract manager.
What I like most about my work is the diversity of the subjects I deal with and the daily challenges.
The best thing about EASO is the people, the friendly colleagues, the calm atmosphere and having the sense of being part of a big family.
I will never forget my first field mission in the islands where operations are taking place!
EUAA is an organization that makes sure its employees are kept on the edge regarding new software with numerous trainings throughout the year, to ensure professional advancement.
Come join us in our amazing new offices in Athens!
EASO and Cyprus signed a first Special Support Plan on 5th June 2014 . Since then, the Agency supported Cypriot asylum and reception authorities in a number of areas, such as training of staff, vulnerable groups, advice concerning age assessment procedures, enhancing the reception conditions, as well as concerning data collection and analytical capacities (i.e. statistics and information technology). The 2021 agreed between the Agency and Cyprus focuses on supporting and enhancing national capacities in the areas of registration and access to asylum procedure, reception, backlog reduction for first instance and second instance asylum cases.
Presentation of the team
My name is Constantinos (Costa) Patronidis and I have joined EASO’s operations in Cyprus as of October 2020. As a caseworker, my primary duties are to conduct interviews with people who lodged an application for international protection and subsequently draft recommendation reports, in accordance with EU asylum acquis and relevant country-of-origin information. So far, my area of focus and expertise lies in Sub-Saharan Africa which I have gained experience on, through training, research and numerous interviews.
Constantinos (Costa) Patronidis
I am Chiara Cariddi and I joined the Agency in 2017 as a Field Support Officer in the Italy Operational Offices. In 2019, I moved to Cyprus, where I am currently based. Here I am responsible of coordinating all the Reception-related activities.
It is a very fascinating area of work, especially now that the EUAA is investing so much in Reception. It can also be challenging at times, but we have a great team here and the cooperation with the National Authorities is very smooth, as well.
The EUAA has been assisting Malta since 2017 in an effort to further enhance the quality of its national asylum system. The main focus of the collaboration with the Maltese authorities has been directed towards the revision of the age assessment procedures, the organisation of trainings for the local authorities and the dissemination of best practices for lodging applications for international protection.
In 2018 and 2019 EASO and Malta continued their cooperation for the registration of applications for international protection, information provision, support for vulnerability assessments, and support for the Dublin Unit. Since 2020, Malta started receiving increased support from EASO in the field of registration and, for the first time, reception. The Agency’s personnel started supporting the Maltese authorities through the deployment of Vulnerability Officers and technical support on reception, including age assessment procedures.
Presentation of the team
"My name is Nadia Toutoungi and I joined EUAA, as part of the Malta Operations, in February 2021 as a Quality Assurance Support Officer in Vulnerability. My role includes supporting the team of Vulnerability Assessors from start to finish as they carry out their vulnerability assessments with asylum seekers. I do this by reviewing every draft assessment report, give feedback and suggestions to ensure harmonization and high-quality reports. Moreover, I attend meetings and liaise with the National Reception authority to for submission of vulnerability reports, and recommendations, and to discuss the conducted assessments.
Working with EUAA has been exciting and I was able to expand my previous skills, knowledge and experience as a social worker and incorporate them into my current role. The best part of this experience is that I work within a multi-cultural team with professionals coming from different backgrounds. Every working day is a learning opportunity and professional growth is a guarantee."
My name is Julia Pingsdorf and I’ve been working for the EUAA Malta Operations since February 2020.
As a Flow Management Support Officer, I contribute to the planning of registrations and asylum interviews, coordination of interpreters and support relocation exercises.
The reception system in Spain has been under pressure for several years; designed for receiving and accommodating relatively small numbers of arrivals, it has struggled to cope with the increased influx of migrants. In 2020 the country saw a massive number of sea arrivals on the Canary Islands (over 20,000 out of 41,000 arrivals in total). This event put enormous pressure on the reception facilities and actors on the islands, which were unprepared to deal with the number of Third Countries Nationals.
In response to an initial request from the State Secretary for Migration (SEM) in the summer of 2020, the Agency and the SEM carried jointly carried out a rapid needs assessment and in December 2020 signed the first ever Operating Plan - Special Support on Reception. The 2021 Operating Plan consists of five main elements (Measures) which cover almost all aspects of reception: from supporting the development of a new reception model over deploying experts to the Canary Islands and providing training and professional development.
Presentation of the team
Hello! My name is Mariah, I am Maltese and I have been working at the Agency as an interim since January 2021. As an Administrative Assistant, I support the Spanish Operations from the Headquarters in Malta.
The thing I love the most about working in Operations is the diversity of my responsibilities, which makes every day an intriguing one. Working within a multidisciplinary team of experts gives me the opportunity to constantly learn new things. In addition, I enjoy participating in various trainings offered by the Agency, which do not only contribute to professional development, but also personal growth.
Compared to my previous employments, working at EUAA has definitely been the greatest experience so far, it has provided me with a healthy work-life balance, which is key to having a happy and fulfilling life. The level of trust put in me to produce high quality results encourages me to be extremely passionate and motivated about my work. The multi-cultural environment contributes towards making it a most interesting environment to work in because you get to meet many people with different backgrounds working together towards one goal and mission – SUPPORT.
Mariah Castaño Arias Mifsud
My name is Arnaud Marin and I first joined the Agency in 2016 as a Member State Expert from France, deployed in Lesvos to provide support on the reception of unaccompanied minors in the Reception Centre of Moria.
It was an unforgettable experience and since then, I have been working for the Agency covering different positions, from field work and coordination on the Greek Islands to strategic work in Athens and currently in Spain. It has now been almost 5 exceptional years, full of surprises and challenges!
As an Operation Officer deployed in the Canary Islands, I am delighted to contribute to the design and set-up of new operations in Spain, notably on reception.
If you are also attracted by a challenging and dynamic professional environment, you should also join EUAA!
The Agency’s support to Lithuania started in July 2021, following a request made by the Lithuanian authorities after an unprecedented increase of irregular migratory flows at its eastern borders with Belarus. This new trend resulted in a significant rise to the number of asylum applications, which put under particular pressure the national asylum and reception systems. On 14th September 2021, EASO signed a new Operating Plan with the Republic of Lithuania to replace the one signed in July and to last until 30 June 2022. The current Operating Plan aims at providing immediate support to the local asylum and reception systems through the rapid deployment of operational personnel and interpreters, together with a medium-term intervention focusing on enhancing the capacity of Lithuanian authorities to cope with the changed migratory context.
Presentation of the team
My name is Foteini and I joined the Agency Lesvos team in 2017 as an Administrative Assistant. 2 years later and after becoming an Operations Assistant, I had the opportunity to work in Greece's Project North as an FSO.
As a person who always seeks new challenges and experiences, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the EUAA Lithuanian Team. Throughout the years the Agency has been the working environment that gave me the ground to evolve as a person and helped me approach the field of migration and asylum from different perspectives towards a better understanding of the field and the challenges that come along.
We are looking forward to welcome you in our multicultural and multidisciplinary team.
My name is Katerina and I come from Greece. I work as a Field Support Officer currently deployed in Lithuania. I have been working for EASO in Greece deployed in different locations both in the islands and the mainland.
I was very excited to be included in the Lithuanian operations in the last days of September 2021. Currently I am deployed in the Vilnius Center for Asylum Seekers and I also support the operations in Rukla.
The Agency gave me the opportunity to explore different projects and to develop professionally in the field of reception for asylum seekers. I enjoy finding different ways to communicate with very different people and adapting is a welcome challenge!
You are more than welcome to join the EUAA operations and support professionally persons in need!
On 8 September 2021, the Agency and the Republic of Latvia signed an Operating Plan for a duration of four months. The Plan addresses the operational needs of the Republic of Latvia as emerged in the course of 2021 following a sudden increase in the irregular migration flows. The Operating Plan 2021/2022 foresees the deployment of teams of interpreters in support of the Latvian authorities, in order to provide immediate response for the implementation of asylum and reception procedures in a timely manner.
Presentation of the team
I am Maya and my experience with the Agency started almost 4 years ago as a Member State Expert deployed by France in Lesvos, Greece. Today, I am working as a Field Coordinator responsible for the management of the EUAA operation in the Greek islands of Kos and Leros.
One of the most exciting aspects of working with EUAA, is that new projects and opportunities might come up at any time in the field! For example, being involved in the Voluntary Relocation Project last year, was an amazing experience and opportunity to collaborate with several different actors on a challenging and rewarding project.
It is motivating to see that my work has a lasting effect and impact on the lives of people in need.
Come join us for a meaningful and exciting job!
Maya Van Der Meij
My name is Konstantinos and I am currently working as an EUAA Field Support Officer in Latvia. I am very proud of my previous experience as a member of the Agency interim team during which I have served in several positions in the field such as Registration Assistant, Caseworker, Vulnerability Expert, and Team Leader.
The EUAA team means trust!
My mission in Latvia is a great challenge. The excellent cooperation with the Latvian authorities gives an added value to the support the EUAA provides.