The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have established a formal cooperation framework to guide the relevant areas of common work in the fields of international protection and migration management after signing an agreement on Monday in Paris.

EASO’s Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Director-General of the IOM, António Vitorino, have signed a working agreement that covers several common areas of actions, ensuring that both institutions will further safeguard the rights of migrants and applicants for international protection, while at the same time, adequately supporting Europe’s national governments.

The areas included in the agreement cover early warning, preparedness and contingency, repatriation, resettlement, voluntary relocation, and supporting migrants with vulnerabilities and specific protection needs.

“The EASO and the IOM have worked together for several years in helping authorities safeguard the rights of migrants and applicants for international protection. I welcome today’s formalisation of this cooperation, which strengthens the important work both parties carry out and is another example of the EU’s emphasis on strong international synergies in migration and asylum management,” said Gregory on behalf of the EASO.

Vitorino reiterated the role of this cooperation as a “pre-cursor for ensuring highest-quality support to migrants, asylum-seekers and our shared Member States”.

The EASO and IOM have agreed to exchange information, data and documentation to the fullest extent possible on matters of common interest. The two have also decided to develop methodologies and tools for data and information gathering and analysis on displaced populations in regions of origin, populations in transit, resettlement, humanitarian admission, relocation, and family reunification.

In addition, the EASO and IOM may, through special arrangements, take decisions towards joint actions and the implementation of projects and agreements, that are subject to the availability of resources and a conclusion of the Financial Framework Agreement between the UN and the European Community.

The two sides may then jointly decide to set up commissions, committees or other technical or advisory bodies.

Both sides want to further explore new training initiatives and material developed in line with EASO training methodology and other capacity-building activities.

To coordinate actions and fine-tune roadmaps, the two will arrange annual senior management consultations to discuss mutual cooperation under the existing working arrangement, including the active participation of IOM in the activities of the EASO Consultative Forum.