The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is based in Malta. The European Parliament is working on strengthening its role within the Common European Asylum System, in order to help Europe better cope with the refugee flows.
Every month, thousands of people arrive in the EU seeking asylum. In 2016 alone, 1.3 million people applied for asylum in the EU –which is actually a decrease on the year before. But it is still a large burden for countries like Italy and Greece, where migrants arrive first. The European Asylum Support Office is based in Malta. Established in 2010, it coordinates asylum procedures throughout Europe. The main idea of the European asylum agency is that we have to work together, that a European solution is what we need, not member state solutions: we need one common European solution. This means: training up country officials about asylum laws, facilitating the flow of information and data across borders, or working with Europe's courts and tribunals to regulate asylum law across the bloc. The Office is there to help in refugee hotspots – those places that receive a steady flow of migrants. For instance, the agency deploys support workers on the ground to help people who have just arrived, and identifies vulnerable people, like unaccompanied minors, and provides them with the support they need. In 2016, there were more than 65,000 unaccompanied minors who applied for asylum in the EU. Armed with data like this, the agency is able to coordinate aid and help the people who need it most.