The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Italy have signed this week a special support plan, which is aimed at providing support to Italy’s asylum and reception system until the end of 2014.

42 EU Member State experts will provide support activities which will focus on data collection and analysis; training of asylum officers in research techniques regarding the collection of information of asylum seekers’ countries of origin; training of asylum officers in the application of Dublin procedures; introduction of procedures addressing emergency situations in response to sudden large numbers of migrant flows; monitoring of the quality of reception conditions; as well as training of judges dealing with asylum appeals.

EASO will draft development plans, operative guidelines, and manuals; organise specialised thematic trainings and workshops; and provide technical advice and monitoring mechanisms.

The plan follows Italy’s request for assistance to EASO last December.

Following his visit to Italy in July 2012, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muižnieks, observed that the inadequate living conditions for asylum seekers in Italy were receiving increasing attention in other EU member states, due to the growing number of legal challenges by asylum seekers to their transfer to Italy under the Dublin Regulation. Muižnieks noted that a series of judgments by different administrative courts in Germany have prevented asylum seekers from being sent back to Italy, due to the risk of homelessness and a life below minimum subsistence standards and that the ECtHR has also been receiving applications alleging possible violations of Article 3 as a result of Dublin transfers to Italy.

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This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 07 June 2013
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