EASO deploys vulnerability officers in Malta, doubles personnel

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) will be doubling its personnel in Malta this year, as well as in Greece and Cyprus. Its personnel will also see an increase in Italy. Malta will have Vulnerability Officers deployed for the first time.

This is due to Operating Plans signed with national asylum authorities of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta last December, following needs-based discussions on the support which the Agency will provide throughout 2020.

In Malta there will be 60 more personnel deployed, including Vulnerability Officers, a first for Malta. The Operating Plan signed with Malta will see EASO double its support for the national authorities. In addition to this, EASO will, for the first time, also provide support in terms of reception. Specifically, EASO personnel will support work on vulnerability through the deployment of Vulnerability Officers and technical support on reception, including age assessment procedures. EASO will not, however, be involved in direct support for the management of reception centres.

There will be 150 more personnel deployed in Italy, 120 in Cyprus and 550 in Greece. In addition, interpreters and security personnel will be deployed in the four Member States, bringing the total deployment up to as many as 2,000 personnel.

In a statement, EASO said that it will continue to support the Maltese authorities with ad hoc disembarkations and voluntary relocations. This will also be the case for Italy.