draft amendment to the Romanian Integration Ordinance has the potential to improve the integration process for persons granted international protection.

The duration of integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection is prolonged from 6 months to 12 months. Similarly, the non-refundable financial aid is also granted for a period of 12 months instead of 6 months.

Beneficiaries of international protection in integration programmes who have no financial means will also have the right to stay in Regional Centres or in other state managed facilities for a general period of 12 months instead of 6 months. According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the bill, this amendment aims to address a series of obstacles faced by beneficiaries in finding a suitable home after being granted status. Beneficiaries of international protection may also face a lack of sufficient financial resources, contacts or knowledge to identify and obtain decent housing at affordable prices. A prolongation of the right to stay in Regional Centres remains applicable, as is currently the case.

Additionally, until the first month of payment of the non-refundable financial aid, beneficiaries of international protection receive financial assistance equal to that granted to asylum seekers for a maximum of 3 months, instead of 2 months as is currently the case. The extension of this time period reflects the average time it takes in practice from the moment the application for non-refundable aid is made until financial aid is actually disbursed.

Due to the fact that the Regional Centres are occupied over capacity and the number of arrivals is on the increase, the bill also prescribes additional housing possibilities. Furthermore, a new form of accommodation is introduced by the proposal. In case the local authorities cannot provide housing or accommodation cannot be provided in one of the Regional Centres or other facilities managed by Ministry of Internal Affairs, IGI-DAI (General Inspectorate for Immigration) may grant beneficiaries of international protection an accommodation allowance for the purpose of renting a private house or state housing, within the limits of the available funds. The accommodation allowance covers the rental fees and related monthly utilities.

*A full version of this article was originally published on AIDA.


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Photo: (CC) Dennis Jarvis, May 2012


This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.