Interpreting for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)


EASO is a European Union body which was established to foster practical cooperation between states on asylum issues. It plays a decisive role in implementing the Common European Asylum System and serves as a centre of expertise supporting Member States whose asylum and reception systems are under increased pressure.

As part of its action to address the refugee crisis in Greece, in October 2016 it organised a series of seminars for Greek judges who were examining asylum applications. Interpreters in the Greek <-> English combination, drawn from the local market in Athens, were used to hold the seminars. Seprotec was responsible for general coordination of interpreting services for EASO.


As a member of the interpreting team I undertook to provide interpreting services from English to Greek and vice versa as part of workshops which involved hands-on examination of special actual or fictitious cases. For the purposes of the workshops, participants were divided into small groups of 10-15 people and an interpreter was assigned to each team, along with an expert from EASO as team instructor. Through cooperation and interactive communication, the purpose of the workshops was to analyse specific problems and to find ways to approach complex asylum-related issues. Consecutive interpreting was considered the most appropriate approach for this specific method of work.

The workshops focused on 3 specific topics:

Recognition of foreigners or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection

  • Criteria for granting refugee status under the Geneva Convention
  • What events constitute acts of persecution
  • Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection
  • Conditions for granting international and subsidiary protection
  • Examination of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights
  • Examination of the case law of the Greek courts

Preliminary questions for the Court of Justice of the European Union

  • What role do preliminary questions play and how do they work?
  • In what cases should they be used?
  • How should they be formulated and submitted?

Evaluation of the reliability of evidence

  • How to ascertain the reliability of evidence submitted by the applicant
  • Procedure for examining an application
  • Conditions and method for holding a personal interview
  • Which questions are permissible and which are not to ascertain the applicant’s actual personal situation
  • To what extent is the applicant required to adequately substantiate his/her application given that the collection of evidence is difficult when he/she is being persecuted?
  • What role can information on countries of origin play?
  • From which bodies and by what means can the court obtain access to information about the countries of origin?


Legal interpreting is one of my areas of specialisation since I have been enrolled as an undergraduate at the Athens Law School from September 2017. Consequently, my vocational training combines two highly demanding sectors: (a) my academic training in conference interpreting and (b) specialised knowledge on a range of legal issues.

Benefit from our academically-grounded approach and reliable solution when it comes to legal interpreting.
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