European Union Establishes Asylum Agency
© AP Photo / Virginia MayoEuropean Union headquarters is reflected in the windows of the EU Council building prior to an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
© AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Council of the European Union on Thursday officially adopted regulation establishing the bloc's asylum agency that will build upon the existing European asylum support office (EASO).
"The Council today adopted the regulation establishing the EU asylum agency. This regulation aims to improve the application of asylum policy within the EU, by turning the current European asylum support office (EASO) into a fully-fledged agency," the statement said.
The move aims to improve the functioning of the common European asylum system by strengthening the EASO mandate. As such, the new agency will have the right to deploy experts and technical means to member states that have requested operational support, according to the Council.
The regulation was previously adopted by the European Parliament on 11 November.
The European Commission first proposed the EU asylum agency regulations in 2016, its adoption this fall was expedited by the migration crisis on the border with Belarus.
Since summer, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have reported an influx of migrants crossing over from Belarus. The tensions escalated in November, when several thousand migrants camped on the Polish-Belarusian border in the hope of forcing their way into the EU. The Polish were forced to bolster border security and deploy the military to thwart attempts by illegal migrants to enter the country, resulting in violent clashes.