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Irishman elected to take lead on asylum

19 Feb 2019 / international Print

Irishman elected to take lead on asylum

Ireland’s Chief International Protection Officer David Costello (pictured above) has been appointed chair of the management board of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) for a three-year term.

Justice minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed the appointment to what he said was an important role in the governance of asylum in the EU.

He congratulated David Costello and said his extensive experience in asylum will be invaluable.

“EASO plays a vital role in supporting the asylum processes of EU Member States in areas such as common training programmes, operational support and quality of decision making in the context of the continued development of a Common European Asylum System,” the minister said. 


EASO assists in the asylum and reception systems of countries such as Italy and Greece in the context of large movements of migrants in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions.

David Costello has been deputy chair of the EASO management board since 2015 and has played a significant role in the operation of the single application procedure under the International Protection Act, 2015. 

He was formerly the Refugee Applications Commissioner in the governance and decision-making framework of the Irish international protection process.

David Costello said his key priority will be strengthening the governance framework of the agency.

The European Asylum Support Office, established in 2010, is an EU agency based in Valetta, Malta to improve the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), strengthen practical co-operation on asylum and to co-ordinate the provision of operational support.


It has prioritised work such as the development of best practice in relation to common training programmes and country of origin guidance for asylum caseworkers leading to better quality decisions.

It also provides operational support to the asylum systems of states such as Italy and Greece whose asylum systems have been under substantial pressure due to migrant movements.

The management board of EASO comprises all EU Member States and the European Commission as well as Denmark, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.  The UNHCR also participates. 


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