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Decision of the European Ombudsman in case 1139/2018/MDC on the conduct of experts in interviews with asylum seekers organised by the European Asylum Support Office

Monday | 30 September 2019

The complainant alleged misconduct by experts in interviews with asylum seekers organised by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in Greece.

The Ombudsman found that EASO’s failure to address adequately and in a timely way the serious errors it had uncovered in a particular case before the asylum seeker in question was deported constituted maladministration. Since, regrettably, the maladministration cannot be remedied at this stage, the Ombudsman did not proceed to a recommendation. To avoid similar problems in the future, however, the Ombudsman suggested that EASO seek to inform the national authorities, immediately and systematically, if it discovers that significant errors have been made during interviews with asylum seekers.

The Ombudsman welcomed EASO’s statement that it is working to set up a complaints mechanism, and suggested that it do so as a matter of priority. Finally, the Ombudsman asked EASO to explain how it overcomes the challenges identified in this case in relation to the work and supervision of interpreters.