Central asylum management office needed

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EU ministers call for an office to be created so that it can manage asylum claims across the bloc.

22 April 2008

LUXEMBOURG - The European Union's interior ministers on Friday called for the creation of an office to help member states manage asylum claims across the bloc.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, the ministers called on the European Commission to "examine the conditions necessary for the timely establishment of a European Support Office" on asylum claims.

Furthermore, the Brussels-based EU executive should "outline the tasks which it might undertake," such as training staff, advising member states on key issues, managing a database of information on conditions in the countries from which asylum seekers come, and dealing with those countries themselves, the ministers said.

The EU's long-term goal is to create a multi-country territory in which asylum claims are handled in a consistent and transparent way. However, national practices still vary widely, with asylum seekers from different countries receiving radically different treatment depending on the EU state in which they make their application.

Greece, in particular, has come under fire recently for the way in which it deals with asylum applications, with human-rights groups accusing it of violating fundamental rights.

The commission is currently considering ways of revising and strengthening cooperation between EU member states on asylum issues, with a legislative proposal expected in the autumn.

[dpa / Expatica]


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