5 June 2015
On Wednesday 27 May, the European Commission adopted a recommendation inviting Member States to resettle to the European Union, over the next two years, 20,000 people in need of international protection, from third countries, namely North Africa, Middle East and the Horn of Africa.
The proposed resettlement scheme uses a distribution key based on the same criteria as the emergency relocation scheme proposed recently; namely, GDP, size of population, unemployment rate and past numbers of asylum seekers and resettlement efforts already made on a voluntary basis by Member States.
According to this distribution key for 20,000 resettlement places, the top five countries that would receive more refugees are Germany (3,086 refugees), France (2,375 refugees), the UK (2,309 refugees), Italy (1,989 refugees) and Spain (1,549 refugees).
“The proposal for European countries to resettle 20,000 refugees is a welcomed step and we hope that it will encourage some Member States which currently do not offer any resettlement places to join in this effort,” stated Aspasia Papadopoulou, ECRE Senior Advocacy Officer.
Furthermore, the recommendation foresees that the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) would be practically involved and provide support to Member States, particularly those with no prior experience with resettlement, and monitor its implementation. In addition, the European Commission will contribute with an extra 50 million Euro under the European Resettlement Programme for the period 2015-2016, and adjust the lump sums and resettlement priorities provided for the Programme.
According to the European Commission, currently, only 15 EU Member States have resettlement schemes in place and three other Member States resettle refugees on ad hoc basis.
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 5 June 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.