Metsola’s EASO report backed by overwhelming majority of MEPs

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Metsola's EASO report backed by overwhelming majority of MEPsRoberta Metsola's report strengthening the Malta-based European Asylum Support Office (EASO) was adopted by the European Parliament this afternoon with 505 votes in favour, 49 votes against and 14 abstentions.

Dr Metsola has been appointed as the European Parliament's rapporteur on four separate reports related to EASO and its role with associated European Union Member States.

Today's vote concerned the participation of Switzerland in EASO activities and will serve to formalise Switzerland's collaboration in EU resettlement and relocation programmes.

Dr Metsola urged MEPs to support her recommendation, to allow Switzerland to participate further, saying that "EASO has a crucial role to play in the EU's asylum policy and we must continue to work to strengthen its aims and help the Agency achieve its objectives. The conclusion of this agreement will see EASO cooperate further with Switzerland and aid in its role in working on asylum issues for all Member States."

EASO's seat was established in Malta in 2011 with the aim of enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters and helping Member States fulfil their European and international asylum obligations. It has a fundamental part to play in supporting Member States whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure.

Dr Metsola said that, "I am delighted with the result of the vote. It shows that on these issues cross-party support is possible. The participation of Switzerland in EASO's work will add an important dimension to the Agency's role. In particular, we will see an increase in the sharing of expertise and information gathering capabilities of the Agency and a strengthening of Europe's response to the refugee crisis."

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