49 EASO staff supporting Maltese asylum authorities this year

    Rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) of the German NGO Sea-Eye migrant rescue ship 'Alan Kurdi' rescue migrants claiming to be Tunisians from a small wooden boat in the central Mediterranean Sea, August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

    Over 40 representatives (49) of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) are currently deployed to support asylum partners in Malta, the agency reports.

    EASO’s figures calculated to the end of September 2019, represent part of the agency’s wider dispersal over of around 926 personnel to support EU member states with their asylum processes.

    These individuals provide a range of technical and operational support to the national authorities, which is said to include, ‘information provision, registration of applications, conducting interviews and drafting opinions, preparing files, handling outgoing Dublin take-charge requests, as well as building capacity and expertise in national asylum and reception authorities.’

    The bulk of these individuals were reported to be in Greece (510), while there were 296 in Italy, 71 in Cyprus and Malta’s 49 personnel. EASO’s staff are understood to have been working in 88 locations across the four EU member states, 2 of which are in Malta.

    The operational plan positioning EASO as a support service to Malta was signed in June 2019 and is part of the agency’s €38.4 million financial commitment to help these EU member states.

    Read more:

    EU asylum applications down to below migration crisis levels – EASO

    EASO and Cyprus sign hosting agreement

    Over 2000 pending asylum applications by end 2018 – EASO

    EASO also reports that it has spent the year working with the European Commission on the creation of a migration management procedure called the ‘Messina Model’

    They say that the procedure is aimed at managing disembarkation and registration, ‘while also respecting the rights of asylum applicants. Under this procedure, EASO carries out registration and pre-selection interviews, supports relocating Member States with selection missions or additional interviews, as well as coordination between Member States.’

    This is also while EASO has worked with the Commission and the Italian and Maltese authorities on its disembarkations and voluntary relocations. This has taken place following the rescues carried out by 16 migrant rescue NGOs.