By improving reception and support in and around Europe, the COA wants to contribute to more predictable and plannable asylum migration. To this purpose, we are increasingly working together with other European reception and asylum organisations. Sharing knowledge is foremost. Moreover, the European Union is an important discussion and funding partner for the COA.
An important European partner is the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). Almost all asylum and reception organisations have joined this office. Together with partner countries within EASO, we pool knowledge about reception, guidance and support, including providing information to asylum seekers, monitoring quality and cooperation within the asylum system. We are also developing joint training programmes and manuals.
In 2020, the COA set up a knowledge platform to provide access to its knowledge for international partners. Via this knowledge platform, the COA also presents itself as an available knowledge partner to strengthen the policy capacity of sister organisations temporarily in a number of countries in and around Europe, including Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
A number of countries are confronted with extraordinary pressure on their asylum and reception systems. A famous example is Greece. To support these countries, the COA regularly posts experts. For instance in 2019, five COA experts were posted to Samos and Athens in Greece via EASO. Their tasks included improving the reception, guidance and support of unaccompanied minors (UAMs). And in 2019 and 2020, the COA posted two experts to Chios via the European Commission to improve local asylum reception.
The COA regularly makes use of internationa grants to fundprojects. For instance from the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). This fund finances projects focusing on asylum, resettlement, and integration, among other things.
The Netherlands plays an important role in the resettlement of refugees selected for this in the region by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) because of their exceptionally great vulnerability.
The COA prepares these status holders for a life in the Netherlands, and guides and supports them in their first 48 hours in our country. This concerns around 500 refugees a year. Moreover, resettlement from Turkey has been taking place since 2016.
In addition, we support the reception of refugees in the Caribbean region from the Netherlands, and together with our European sister organisations we explore how we can improve asylum reception in countries bordering Europe, like those in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.