Hojs: EASO plays a key role in building a more efficient and fairer asylum system
Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs is participating as a panelist in a high-level conference marking the 10th anniversary of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Key topics of discussion include the development of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) over the last decade and EASO’s role, the situation in the area of international protection in the EU, and the transformation of the Office into the EU Asylum Agency by the end of the year.
Highlighting EASO's role in the development of the CEAS to date, Hojs said: "Your support to member states in building a more efficient and fairer asylum system is crucial. This will become even more pronounced when your mandate extends as the EU Asylum Agency." In addition minister Hojs said it is a signal of a good migration management if EASO as a future EU Asylum Agency has less opeational work.
The Minister underlined the need for further harmonisation of asylum systems, which, together with the evolvement of the CEAS as foreseen by the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, can reach a new level. "The goal is to shape and create a new common system, where asylum officers base their decisions on similar criteria. This would make the outcomes of international protection procedures similar as well, without major deviations."
Further harmonisation of asylum systems should also lead to a reduction of secondary migration and the resulting decrease in numbers in overburdened asylum systems in member states, which is the primary goal of the ongoing CEAS reform, pointed out Hojs. "Secondary movements should be addressed appropriately. That is key to finding the right balance between solidarity and responsibility, which would help advance negotiations on the Pact."
The Minister took the opportunity to thank EASO for supporting member states in managing migratory pressures. "I would also like to mention EASO's activities in providing statistical data, as they represent the basis for taking timely decisions. Here, I see a need for appropriate sources of data, which is a task of member states. The new Eurodac Regulation, one of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency, will significantly improve the data," said Hojs. He also stressed the importance of cooperation with third countries to alleviate pressure on the EU's external borders and help transit countries and migrants. "EASO can and should play a decisive role in those endeavours," concluded the Minister.