Switzerland to participate in the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

Press Release, SEM, 01.03.2016

Berne. Switzerland’s participation in the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) strengthens cooperation with Dublin states on asylum matters and is therefore in Switzerland’s interest. A corresponding agreement with the European Union comes into effect today.

EASO is the EU’s agency for practical cooperation among its member states in asylum matters. It facilitates, coordinates and encourages cooperation between states on asylum matters and provides operational support to member states whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure. Especially in view of the current European refugee situation it is in Switzerland’s interest for the Dublin system to be strengthened. Furthermore, by participating in EASO, Switzerland has the possibility of exercising influence in asylum matters and gains access to important information such as specialist knowledge about countries of origin.

Strengthening cooperation

Participating in EASO will serve to further strengthen the already close cooperation between Switzerland and the EU member states under the Dublin Agreement. Furthermore, EASO coordinates training activities for asylum specialist at the European level and helps establish analysis and information centres on the asylum situation in participating states.

EASO is heavily involved in setting up and operating what are known as ‘hotspots’ in Italy and Greece, where asylum seekers can be registered. With the entry into force of the EASO agreement Swiss experts can be deployed to these hotspots. That way Switzerland can also make a valuable contribution towards tackling the migration crisis in Europe.

The Swiss Parliament approved the adoption of the agreement in March 2015, the European Parliament followed in December.

Further information

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