The future in Europe
On May 9th 2016, while celebrating the Day of Europe, took place the Asylum Service one-day Conference about the Future of Asylum in Europe, in the premises of City of Athens - Technopolis. The issues that were discussed referred to the definition of a "third safe country", making a straight reference to the agreement between the EU and Turkey, as well as the prospects for a Common European Asylum System. It was an honour to have as guests with us the Head of the the Fundamental Rights Agency, Mr. Michael O' Flaherty, the Director of EASO Mr. Jose Carreira, as well as the most remarkable by far professor in the area of Refugee Law, Mr. Guy Goodwin-Gill. Mr. Dimitris Papadimitriou, the honorary Head of the American Institute for Immigration Policy, the deputy representative of the Press Office of the UNHCR Mrs Ann Mayman and Mr. Peter Diez, deputy Head for Immigration Policy of the Dutch Internal Ministry were also present. The presence of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Mr. KrisPollet and Mrs Maria Stavropoulou, Director of the Greek Asylum Service, were also present.
On the issue of the concept of a 'safe third country', the speakers referred to the criteria that must be met, so that an asylum seeker would return to a country where he or she was prior safely, without having been examined on the substance of a claim, whether or not is entitled to international protection and the deployment of the Greek authorities and EASO in the islands for the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement. On the issue of setting up a European Asylum Service, the participants referred to the need to set up such a service, albeit gradually, which would define a single asylum status in the EU. In this context, they also discussed the European Commission's recent Dublin Regulation and the development of EASO.
The meeting was prefaced by the Deputy Minister of the Interior for Migration Policy Mr. Ioannis Mouzalas, the Mayor of the City of Athens Mr. George Kaminis, as well as the D.G. of the Structural Reform Support Agency of the European Commission Mr. Maarten Verwey.
The conference was funded by the Technical Assistance of the Asylum, Immigration and Integration Fund 2014-2020 for the promotion of the Program.