EU ambassadors today extended the Council's negotiating mandate on the EU asylum agency regulation.
The proposed regulation aims to improve the application of asylum policy within the EU, by turning the current European asylum support office (EASO) into a fully-fledged agency. This agency will be responsible for improving the functioning of the common European asylum system, by providing enhanced operational and technical assistance to member states and by contributing to more convergence in the assessment of applications for international protection.
Today's mandate for negotiations is an important step towards our common goal of building a fairer and more efficient asylum system. A fully fledged EU asylum agency will be able to provide swift operational support wherever it is most needed and contribute to increase mutual trust among member states.
Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese Minister for Home Affairs
The EU asylum agency regulation strengthens the current EASO mandate and facilitates the deployment of experts to member states that have requested operational support. The new mandate increases the agency's support to cooperation among member states and third countries, thereby also contributing to the EU overall external dimension. The revised mandate takes into account that discussions on a new migration and asylum pact are ongoing and defers the entry into application of the monitoring mechanism to a later stage.
In May and June 2016, the European Commission presented seven legislative proposals, including a proposal on the EU asylum agency, to improve the functioning of the common European asylum system.
The Council adopted an initial partial negotiating mandate for the EU asylum agency proposal on 20 December 2016, and negotiations with the European Parliament took place in the following months. On 28 June 2017 the Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached a broad political agreement. Work then continued at technical level and on 6 December 2017, EU ambassadors took note of the provisional agreement.
In September 2018, the European Commission presented an amended proposal for the EU asylum agency regulation, building on the provisional agreement reached in 2017. Work on this proposal started both within the Council and the European Parliament. However, as part of its migration and asylum pact proposals in September 2020, the European Commission maintained its 2016 proposal on the EU asylum agency regulation, and discussions on it were relaunched.