Malta's EU presidency secures broad political agreement on setting up EU asylum agency

The agreement is part of the EU's efforts to have a fully-fledged EU Agency for Asylum that is better able to respond to challenges posed by irregular migration and asylum in the EU

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Yannick Pace
29 June 2017, 6:50pm
The agreement is part of the EU's efforts to have a fully-fledged EU Agency for Asylum that is better able to respond to challenges posed by irregular migration and asylum in the EU
The agreement is part of the EU's efforts to have a fully-fledged EU Agency for Asylum that is better able to respond to challenges posed by irregular migration and asylum in the EU
The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU has secured a “broad political agreement” with the European Parliament on an EU Regulation establishing the EU Agency for Asylum, according to the government.

In a statement it said that the “much-anticipated” agreement on all twelve chapters of the proposal meant that “once the final technical work” is carried out, the European Asylum and Support Office (EASO), which is based in Valletta, could be developed into a fully-fledged agency, better-able to act in support of EU member states while facilitating the functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

The Agency, it said, would be building on its current EASO mandate in ensuring convergence in the assessment of applications for international protection across the EU, adding that it would be providing “operational and technical assistance” to member states.

“This is part of the EU’s efforts to have a fully-fledged EU Agency for Asylum that can respond better to the evolving irregular migration challenge and to reflect its enhanced role in a reformed Common European Asylum System,” said Home Affairs and National Security minister Michael Farrugia.

“Over the past six months, the Maltese Presidency has made the management of migration and asylum at an EU level a top priority of its work,” read the statement, adding that within this context, the development of the CEAS has been of particular importance.

Following the broad political agreement reached between the Maltese Presidency and the European Parliament, the government said work would continue during the Estonian Presidency – which will follow the Maltese presidency - to finalise the text the text of the agreement which includes a number of outstanding “technical issues”.

Once the issues have been ironed out, the agreement will be submitted to EU ambassadors for endorsement on behalf of the Council.

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...