EU member states set themselves the deadline of 2012 to complete the common European asylum system. They have a mountain to climb. Asylum-seekers’ success in finding protection in Europe still depends largely upon which country they arrive in. And there is no common approach to the uneven asylum burdens borne by individual member states. The blueprint set out in May 2010 by EU Regulation 439/2010 of the Parliament and Council for a European Asylum Support Office is supposed to remove these deficits. Yet, the lack of detail in the Regulation shows that there is no common vision for the new agency. If it is to play a meaningful role, the office will have to find its own means of appealing to the different interests of the member countries.