Minister Flanagan welcomes election of Chief International Protection Officer, David Costello, as Chair of the Management Board of the European Asylum Support Office


18 February 2019


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, today welcomed the election of David Costello as Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).  Mr. Costello is Ireland’s Chief International Protection Officer and Head of the International Protection Office.


Welcoming the appointment, the Minister said


I want to congratulate David Costello on his appointment to this important role in the governance of asylum in the European Union.  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.  EASO also provides considerable assistance to the asylum and reception systems of Member States such as Italy and Greece in the context of large movements of migrants in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions.  I am pleased that we have been able to offer significant practical support to these Member States in the spirit of solidarity by providing experts on the ground and through the delivery of the Irish Refugee Resettlement Programme.  David’s extensive experience in the asylum area will be invaluable in leading the EASO Management Board.”


David Costello has been Deputy Chair of the EASO Management Board since 2015.  He has substantial operational experience in his current role as Head of the International Protection Office and formerly as the Refugee Applications Commissioner in the governance and decision making framework of the Irish international protection process.  He has played a significant role in the operation of the single application procedure under the International Protection Act, 2015 since its commencement in December 2016.


David Costello said “I am honoured to be elected to Chair the EASO Management Board.  This is an exciting time for the Agency, which is growing both in its responsibilities and in its deliverables in terms of the work it carries out in supporting the asylum processes of EU Member States.  A key priority for me will be to work with the Management Board, its Executive Director and other Agency staff to contribute to the further strengthening of the governance framework of the Agency and to oversee the implementation of its key work priorities.”





Notes for Editors


The European Asylum Support Office, which was established in 2010, is an EU Agency based in Valetta, Malta.  Its role is to help improve the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), to strengthen practical co-operation among Member States on asylum and to co-ordinate the provision of operational support to Member States subject to particular pressure on their asylum and reception systems.


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 has also played a substantial role in providing 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 by sea in particular, from the Mediterranean and Aegean regions.


The Management Board of EASO, which is the Agency’s planning and monitoring body, comprises all EU Member States and the European Commission as well as Denmark, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.  The UNHCR also participates.


The term of office of the Chair of the Board is three years.  A Deputy Chair also supports him or her.  Both are part time positions.  The Board meets about four times per year in Malta.