What's Next for the European Asylum Crisis?
Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President, MPI Europe, and President Emeritus, MPI
Robert K. Visser, Executive Director, European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
Elizabeth Collett, Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
With uncontrolled migration to the European Union growing by leaps and bounds and asylum applications recorded by EU Member States at an all-time high, calls for ‘solidarity’ and increased support from the EU level for Member States under pressure have grown louder. As national authorities seek to keep pace with the drastically increased demands on them, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) looks set to assume a truly integral role in the EU response. To date, EASO has largely played a supporting function, co-ordinating practical cooperation and offering information and expertise to states under pressure. But emerging EU efforts such as the newly established joint migrant registration centres or ‘hotspots’ in Greece and Italy have thrust EASO — and other EU agencies like Frontex and Europol — into the spotlight. With the enduring disparities between asylum systems across the European Union ever more stark, does the future hold a more proactive and structural role for EASO within the Common European Asylum System? And what are the strategic decisions that the European Union and its Member States must make and implement faithfully in order to manage the crisis more effectively and gradually reduce pressure on all relevant systems — from borders and reception capabilities to asylum adjudications, integration efforts, and deportations of economic migrants.
MPI Europe President Demetrios Papademetriou and outgoing EASO Executive Director Rob Visser, the agency’s first director, discuss he role EASO has played in its first five years and its potential for the future, along with what strategies Europe ought to be pursuing with regards to the current crisis.