Source description last updated: 9 February 2022

In brief: The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) is an EU agency mandated with supporting EU member States in applying the package of EU laws that governs asylum, international protection and reception conditions, known as the Common European Asylum System.

Coverage on ecoi.net:

Country of origin information (COI) reports and position papers/country guidance

Covered weekly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries).

Mission/Mandate/Objectives:

“The EUAA acts as a resource for Member States in the field of international protection, with the ability to provide practical, legal, technical, advisory and operational assistance in many formats. [...] The ultimate aim of the EUAA’s work is to reach a situation where the asylum practices in all EU+ Member States [*] are harmonised in line with EU obligations, meaning that an application of an individual in any of the EU+ Member States will always receive the same result” (EUAA website: What We Do, undated).

[*: EU+ refers to the 27 EU member states, plus Norway and Switzerland.]

The EUAA “replaces the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) [...]. On 19 January 2022, the new mandate of the EUAA entered into force” (EUAA website: New EU Agency for Asylum starts work with reinforced mandate, 19 January 2022). As stated in Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 of 15 December 2021, which establishes the EUAA, “the need for an efficient, high and uniform level of application of Union law on asylum in the Member States” made it “necessary to improve the implementation and functioning of the CEAS [(Common European Asylum System)] by building on the work of EASO and further developing it into a fully-fledged agency” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 6).

EUAA has been designed to act as “a centre of expertise on asylum” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 6) that “should report on its activities to the European Parliament and to the Council” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 48). “In order to guarantee its autonomy, the Agency should have its own budget” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 49). “The EUAA begins its work with [...] eight operations (in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Spain) supporting asylum and reception authorities in Member States with almost 2,000 personnel, and 500 staff mostly based in the agency’s headquarters in Malta, as well as in offices in Athens, Brussels, Rome, Nicosia, Madrid and Warsaw” (EUAA website: New EU Agency for Asylum starts work with reinforced mandate, 19 January 2022).

As part of its technical assistance to Member States, the EUAA publishes materials on countries of origin of asylum seekers and guidance documents and responds to queries for information and advice from member states (EUAA website: What We Do, undated). As the December 2021 Regulation sets out, the EUAA “should ensure a more structured, up-to-date and streamlined production of information on relevant third countries at Union level” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 16). EUAA specifies that its COI activities “aim at gathering relevant, reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information on third countries [...]. The EUAA COI activities promote and coordinate practical cooperation among EU+ countries through a network approach, which [...] facilitat[es] the development of common analysis and country guidance notes on main countries of origin. The activities include general COI and medical COI (MedCOI)” (EUAA website: Country of Origin Information, undated). Regarding the use of EUAA COI and guidance material in EU member states, the above Regulation provides that “[w]ithout prejudice to the competence of the Member States to decide on individual applications for international protection, Member States should take into account the relevant common analysis and guidance notes when assessing applications for international protection” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, article 11, section 3).

Funding:

While it is stated the EUAA’s funding stems from EU, national and international sources (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 51), most of its budget “should come from a contribution from the [European] Union” (Regulation (EU) 2021/2303 of 15 December 2021 on the European Union Agency for Asylum and repealing Regulation (EU) No 439/2010, 15 December 2021, preamble, section 49). The EUAA’s budget for 2022 is EUR 172 million (EUAA website: New EU Agency for Asylum starts work with reinforced mandate, 19 January 2022).

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: countries of origin of asylum-seekers to the EU+ Member States

Thematic focus: information on the political, religious, security, socio-economic situation; human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment

Methodology:

The EUAA’s COI research methodology and guidelines for COI report drafting are explained in detail in the following two documents published by the former EASO:

EASO: EASO Country of Origin Information (COI) Report Methodology, June 2019
https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/2019_EASO_COI_Report_Methodology.pdf

EASO: EASO Writing and Referencing Guide for EASO Country of Origin Information (COI) Reports, June 2019
https://coi.euaa.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/2019_EASO_COI_Writing_and_Referencing_Guide.pdf

Languages of publications:

English, with some reports translated from English into other EU languages such as German or French (see, for example, EUAA (formerly: EASO): Syrien: Lage der Rückkehrer aus dem Ausland, June 2021, pp. 3 and 9 and EUAA (formerly: EASO): Iraq: Traitement des Irakiens affiliés ou soupçonnés d’être affiliés à l’EIIL, October 2020, pp. 3 and 9)

 

All links accessed 9 February 2022.

Methodological note:

ecoi.net's source descriptions contain background information on an organisation’s mission & objective, funding and reporting methodology, as well as on how we cover the source. The descriptions were prepared after researching publicly accessible information within time constraints. Most information contained in a source description was taken from the source itself. The aim is to provide a brief introduction to the sources covered regularly, offering information on relevant aspects in one place in a systematic manner.