The European Commission is proposing today an EU Resettlement Framework to establish a common European policy on resettlement to ensure orderly and safe pathways to Europe for persons in need of international protection. The proposal is part of the Commission's reform of the Common European Asylum System and the long-term policy on better migration management set out by the European Agenda on Migration. It will also contribute to the implementation of the new results-oriented Partnership Framework for cooperation with key third countries of origin and transit presented by the Commission on 7 June.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "We need to move up a gear in our common efforts to provide international protection, and that includes resettling refugees in Europe in a safe and orderly way. Ad-hoc schemes have delivered some results so far, but the new procedures put on the table today mean that we will work with national governments at an early stage to increase and pool efforts and make this work better. The Member States will decide how many people need to be resettled each year, and they will have the financial support of the EU budget to turn their decisions into action. This is an effective way for the EU to live up to its collective responsibility to show solidarity with non-EU countries and help them cope with large numbers of people fleeing war and persecution."
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: "Today's proposal is a major step in our efforts to offer legal avenues to allow persons in need to enter the EU safely and receive protection. It is an integral part of the larger objective of ensuring that protection is offered to those who need it, reducing the incentives for irregular migration and protecting migrants from exploitation by smuggling networks and dangerous journeys to reach Europe. By establishing a permanent framework with harmonised practices we can ensure faster procedures, allowing us to gradually scale up our joint resettlement commitments. This is the EU opening a genuine legal window in our efforts to close the irregular backdoor."
Today's proposal will provide for a permanent framework with a unified procedure for resettlement across the EU. While the Member States will remain the ones deciding on how many people will be resettled each year, collectively the EU will achieve a greater impact by coordinating national efforts and acting as a whole. The future resettlement framework will be implemented through the annual EU resettlement plans, adopted by the Council and operationalised by targeted EU resettlement schemes adopted by the Commission. The annual EU resettlement plans will set the broad geographical priorities from where the resettlement will take place, the maximum total number of persons to be resettled in the following year based on the participation and contributions made by the Member States and Associated Schengen countries in the specific annual resettlement plan.
The EU Resettlement Framework sets out the criteria which should be taken into account when determining the regions or third countries from which resettlement will take place, such as the number of persons in need of international protection in third countries, the overall relations between the EU and third countries and their effective cooperation in the area of asylum and migration, including developing their asylum system and cooperation on irregular migration, readmission and return.
The new EU Resettlement Framework will establish a common set of standard procedures for the selection and treatment of resettlement candidates. It also specifies the common eligibility criteria for resettlement to the EU under the targeted EU resettlement schemes, sets out common grounds for the exclusion of candidates and the type of resettlement procedure (ordinary procedure or expedited procedure) which could be used.
To support Member States' resettlement efforts under the targeted EU schemes, the Commission will provide €10,000 from the EU budget for each person resettled. The funds will be allocated from the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Resettlements outside of the Union resettlement framework will not be supported financially by the Union's budget.
The UK and Ireland may take part in the implementation of the Regulation if they choose to do so, in accordance with the relevant Protocols attached to the Treaties. Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of this Regulation and is not bound by it or subject to its application.
On 13 May 2015, the European Commission proposed a far-reaching strategy through the European Agenda on Migration, laying the foundation for the Commission's continuous work to address both the immediate and the long-term challenges of managing migration flows effectively and comprehensively and setting out the need for a common approach to granting protection to displaced persons in need of protection through resettlement.
On 8 June 2015 the European Commission issued a Recommendation on a European Resettlement Scheme, which was followed by the Conclusions of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 20 July 2015 to resettle, through multilateral and national schemes, 22,504 persons in clear need of international protection.
On 15 December 2015 the Commission issued a Recommendation for a Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme with Turkey. According to the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016, a Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme will be activated once irregular crossings between Turkey and the EU end, or at least have been substantially and sustainably reduced.
On 6 April 2016, the European Commission published a Communication which launched the process for a reform of the Common European Asylum System and the establishment of a structured resettlement system framing the Union’s policy on resettlement and providing a common approach to safe and legal arrival in the Union for persons in need of international protection.
Following that Communication, the Commission presented a first package of reforms on 4 May 2016. The package included proposals for establishing a sustainable and fair Dublin system, reinforcing the Eurodac system and establishing a genuine European Agency for Asylum.
The Commission regularly reports on the progress made as regards resettlement. A First Report on Relocation and Resettlement was adopted on 16 March. The Second, Third, and Fourth Report were adopted respectively on 12 April, 18 May, and 15 June. The Fifth Report on Relocation and Resettlement has been adopted today.
For more information
Frequently asked questions: Establishing an EU Resettlement Framework:
Regulation establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council
Press release: Completing the reform of the Common European Asylum System: Towards an efficient, fair and humane asylum policy
Frequently asked questions: Reforming the Common European Asylum System
FACTSHEET - Asylum procedures: reforming the Common European Asylum System
FACTHSEET - Qualification: Reforming the Common European Asylum System
FACTSHEET - Reception Conditions: reforming the Common European Asylum System
FACTSHEET - The Common European Asylum System
Press release: Towards a sustainable and fair Common European Asylum System
Proposal for a Council Decision amending Council Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece