The Know Reset project, carried out in partnership by European University Institute (EUI) and ECRE, has come to an end this week with the publication of its Final Report. As a result of the project, 27 country profiles, an online database providing relevant legal and policy document, as well as statistics and statements and several tools for quantitative and qualitative country comparison are available for policy-makers, public institutions, public opinion, the media, and non-governmental stakeholders through the project website.
The EU comparative report entitled The capacity to do it better and to do it more illustrates the capacity for resettlement of EU Member States in four areas: funding, the different actors involved, political will, and the methods used.
The research shows that socio-economic factors and political will remain important elements when Member States consider engaging in resettlement, expanding their programmes (more resettlement places) or improving their quality.
A number of different measures have been identified to increase support for resettlement: better and faster cooperation between EU countries, transfer of knowledge and experiences in resettlement involving all the relevant stakeholders, awareness that resettled refugees have many different needs, involvement of municipalities in lobbying for increased support, setting up of private or joined sponsorship schemes, and more funding opportunities for NGOs and municipalities receiving resettled refugees. The report also stresses that EASO should become an important actor in contributing to the increase of the quality and quantity of resettlement.
Furthermore, the report underlines that for resettlement to be a truly durable solution, countries should focus on strengthening their integration capacity and the receptiveness of receiving communities.
Another EU comparative report produced in the framework of Know Reset, Between Shared Standards and Diversity in Legal and Policy Frames, compared the legal frameworks and policies on resettlement of EU Member States. The report showed that although a majority of Member States have included resettlement in their national asylum legislation, it is not mandatory for them to engage in resettlement. It is recommended that even if Member States want to keep resettlement voluntary, an EU Directive could standardize some basic and fundamental elements of refugee resettlement to ensure, amongst others, that resettlement aims at receiving vulnerable refugees on the basis of UNHCR submission categories and do not include integration pre-considerations, and that resettled refugees are granted a permanent residence status.
Both reports make the case for an increased use of resettlement by European countries and for a harmonized European resettlement programme.
Know Reset is co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of the European Refugee Fund.
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 20 December 2013
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