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Migration: European Asylum Support Office (EASO) strengthens its activities in the Mediterranean. Support to Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Malta

Operational support, deployment of staff, allocation of funds: migration flows have not decreased during the COVID pandemic, and for this reason, too, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) will reinforce its activities in the Mediterranean. In particular, support will be provided to Greece – the largest beneficiary –, Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus. EASO will send approximately 2,000 people to these five Member States, of whom almost 1,000 to Greece. “Personnel – a statement reads – include caseworkers, interpreters, vulnerability experts, field support staff, reception staff, research officers and administrative staff”. EASO has recently added Spain to the list of its main operations. Over the next 12 months, the Agency will “commit over €70 million to its operations, which equates to approximately half of EASO’s overall budget”. Over €45 million (64 %) of this will be committed to operational activities in Greece. EASO explained that “while support to Spain will focus on developing a new model for reception of asylum applicants”, its “operation in Italy will continue to focus on asylum processes quality, standardisation and on second instance (appeals) procedures in light of less pressures on the country’s first instance and reception infrastructure. It will also provide broader support to the reception system and respond to ad hoc disembarkation and voluntary relocation events”.

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