In the aftermath of the serious Mediterranean crisis and of the response of the European Union, by means of several measures, which include the European Migration Agenda, Portugal was one of the Member States that has shown, from the very beginning, the willingness to receive refugees from Italy and Greece, as well as to participate in the European Union Resettlement Framework.
Therefore, and aware of its competences, it is SEF responsibility to implement the asylum national policy and the international obligations, in articulation with relevant international entities, namely the Greek and Italian authorities, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and assigning liaison officers for those two countries of the European Union.
The analysis of resettlement requests and their decision before arrival to Portugal, the articulation with the hosting entity, with the celebration of protocols, as well as the conduct of proceedings of asylum upon arrival, for the granting of international protection status, and the issuance of documents for permanence/residence, are a strong example of SEF’s commitment and effort in the resettlement procedure, without neglecting the treatment of spontaneous asylum requests also increasing in the last years.
Besides the commitment in this resettlement process, SEF has been participating in operations of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in Greece by sending several asylum experts that have been already seconded in the Greek islands for several periods of time for the last years.
At the Resettlement level as well, we can emphasize the SEF’s role in the implementation of the national and European programmes of resettlement of refugees already resettled which have arrived in Portugal from Egypt and Turkey.
In addition, the participation of SEF’s experts in several working groups of the European Union and of EASO, where several legislative instruments integrating the European Asylum Support Office are being revised, as well as the elaboration of common guidelines to be followed by the Member-States in implementing legislation in matter of asylum in the European Union.
SEF complies, in a daily basis, with the commitment and willingness, in the legal framework, to continue ensuring the international protection to all in need, in particular concerning the most vulnerable, as far as human dignity concerns.