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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP welcomes opening of European Asylum Support Office

Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert has welcomed the formal opening of the European Asylum Support Office in Malta, declaring the event a ‘real step forward’ in ending the lottery of treatment asylum seekers face in Europe.

Current practice in the implementation of the rights of asylum seekers across Europe illustrates the fact that there are major differences in the way Member States deal with applications for asylum.  For example, an Iraqi has a 71 per cent change of obtaining protection in one Member State but only two per cent in another [1].

The new office will support Member States in their efforts to implement a more harmonised and fairer asylum policy by identifying and sharing examples of good practice, organising training at the European level and improving access to accurate information on countries of origin so that asylum officers are able to make informed decisions on individual cases.  The EASO will also be on hand to offer practical assistance to Member States which receive high numbers of asylum applications to ensure they provide quality reception conditions.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Jean, an acknowledged expert in the field of asylum and refugee and Rapporteur on the original legislation that brought the Office into existence, said: “I am delighted to see the much needed and long awaited European Asylum Support Office finally open.  The Office will play a vital role in supporting Member States to co-operate effectively and work to the same high standards whilst ensuring that protection is provided to those who need it.  I have no doubt that the Office will provide real added value in improving the quality of Member States’ asylum systems and ending the lottery of treatment asylum seekers face across Europe.

“However, it’s important to remember that high quality asylum processes must be matched with high quality asylum practices.  The EASO will not magically act as a panacea for the poor treatment of asylum seekers – responsibility to ensure harmonised delivery of the Common European Asylum System fundamentally lies with Member States.”

Notes to Editors