The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) is an agency of the European Union mandated with supporting Member States in applying the package of EU laws that governs asylum, international protection and reception conditions, known as the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
The EUAA acts as a resource for Member States in the field of international protection, with the ability to provide practical, legal, technical, advisory and operational assistance in many formats. The Agency does not replace the national asylum or reception authorities, which are ultimately entirely responsible for their procedures and systems.
The ultimate aim of the EUAA’s work is to reach a situation where the asylum practices in all EU+ Member States are harmonised in line with EU obligations, meaning that an application of an individual in any of the EU+ Member States will always receive the same result. Similarly, an applicant will always go through a similar procedure with similar conditions, no matter which Member State s/he applies in, and will enjoy the same rights, obligations and reception conditions.
The Common European Asylum System (CEAS), establishes the legally binding rules and procedures that Member States must follow in order to guarantee that the rights of applicants for international protection are fully respected. It also ensures that those who do not qualify for international protection are identified and can be returned to their country of origin.
- The EUAA’s mandate is to support Member States in applying the package of EU laws which governs international protection, known as the Common European Asylum System (CEAS);
- The Agency works to help Member States ensure fast and efficient asylum procedures, as well as high-quality reception standards;
- The ultimate aim of the EUAA’s work is to reach a situation where the asylum practices in all EU+ Member States are harmonised;
- To do this, the EUAA has progressed from an initial emphasis on technical support to an equal focus on the deployment of operational and capacity building assistance;
- The EUAA is a resource for Member States in the field of international protection and reception, with the ability to provide practical, legal, technical, advisory and operational assistance in many formats;
- The Agency does not replace national asylum authorities, which are entirely responsible for national asylum cases.
In order to achieve these goals, the EUAA assists Member States through three pillars of support:
The EUAA provides an ever-expanding range of highly technical and specialised support measures. These include:
- publishing Country of Origin and Guidance materials;
- collecting, analysing and distributing asylum data and forecasts;
- providing guidance, recommendations and best-practices on the effective and high-quality application of the CEAS;
- responding to queries for advice and information from Member States;
- developing ICT platforms and databases aimed at more effective and efficient asylum systems;
- developing practical tools to achieve common standards and high-quality processes;
- advising on legal obligations;
- mapping practices in different Member States; and
- facilitating networks of expertise in different areas of asylum.
As of 2023, the EUAA will also be mandated to monitor the application of EU asylum and reception obligations by Member States. It will allow for the Agency to identify shortcomings and work with the national authorities to address them.
The Agency has quickly expanded its operational assistance to Member States, both in terms of the levels of assistance as well as the size of its operations. Operations now form a core part of the Agency’s activities. The EUAA currently has close to 2,000 personnel deployed in over 100 locations in various Member States. An Asylum Reserve Pool of 500 Member State officials can also be drawn on by the EUAA if needed. These personnel support Dublin units, provide information activities and training, assist with disembarkations, facilitate relocation to other Member States, carry out registrations, conduct asylum interviews, draft decision opinions, assist second-instance decision makers and work with authorities to improve procedures and conditions.
The EUAA’s operations are intended to be temporary in duration and help relieve the pressures on Member States’ authorities, improve quality standards and contribute to more resilient national systems in the long-term.
The training of national asylum and reception officials ensures a common high-level application of CEAS standards. The EUAA both develops modules in numerous specialised fields of EU asylum and reception law, and practices, and delivers the training to national officials as well as national instructors (train-the-trainer). The training curriculum currently has 30 modules, which have been delivered to over 50,000 participants. In the future, the EUAA aims to offer qualified standards for its training which would provide assurance that the successful completion of any module(s) means that the individual has been trained to the highest of EU levels.
The values of the Agency are:
- Support – for Member States and stakeholders;
- Responsibility – towards those in need of protection, in line with the values the EU is founded upon;
- Expertise – in the rules and legal obligations which form the Common European Asylum System (CEAS);
- Responsiveness – to the challenges and changing needs of Member States in properly managing asylum and reception services of member States;
- Resilience – of a future-proof European area of international protection which is able to adapt without sacrificing respect for human rights and protection;
- Efficiency – through the responsible and effective use of public resources, both within the Agency as well as in Europe’s implementation of the CEAS.