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MEMO/05/291

Brussels, 1 September 2005

New orientations on the external dimension of immigration and asylum policies

Migration and Development

In line with the demands contained in The Hague Programme, this Communication aims to devise policies that link migration and development cooperation, in partnership with countries and regions of origin, with a special emphasis on poverty alleviation.

Migration is an increasingly important phenomenon at the global level. It is estimated that international migrants represent almost three percent of the world’s population. In some countries, however, these figures are much higher. The consequences of such flows on home countries’ development prospects can no longer be neglected. Whereas migration can sometimes be detrimental in development terms, for example when it leads to severe skill shortages – a situation that has occurred for example in the healthcare sector of some African countries – its potential positive contribution must not be underestimated. Migrants’ remittances represent a major source of foreign exchange for developing countries. Globally, they exceed by far the volume of official development assistance. Whilst it is private money, it nonetheless makes a very significant contribution to poverty alleviation. Similarly, migrants and the broader diasporas can make significant contributions to home countries’ development – not only by returning after completing their employment in developed countries, but also by investing, by participating in schemes to share their skills and know-how, and more generally through various forms of brain circulation.

The Communication on Migration and Development identifies a number of concrete orientations in the following areas:

Remittances: contributing to cheaper remittance flows – for example by fostering competition between alternative formal remittance channels – and facilitating the use of remittances for development-friendly use – for example by facilitating the access of recipients to financial intermediation services – while respecting their private nature;

Facilitating the involvement of willing diaspora members in the development of countries of origin, for example by helping these countries create skills databases where such people can register voluntarily;

Facilitating brain circulation, by encouraging temporary migration, by facilitating the return of migrants to their country of origin – for example to start up a business activity – or by making it easier for migrants to engage in development-friendly activities without returning definitively – for example through secondments or investments in countries of origin. Managed migration with a view to employment – an issue to which the Commission will come back later this year, as part of the follow-up to the January 2005 Green Paper on economic migration – can also contribute crucially to the development of countries of origin; and

Limiting the impact of brain drain, for example by encouraging Member States to limit recruitment in countries and sectors suffering from skill shortages and by fostering partnerships between institutions in developing countries and in the EU.

These orientations will be reflected in the dialogue between the EU and interested developing countries, which may lead to targeted EU assistance to these countries.

Regional Protection Programmes

The Communication on Regional Protection Programmes represents the follow-up to the Commission Communication of 14 June 2004 “Improving Access to Durable Solutions” (COM (2004) 410 final), which had made proposals for a new EU approach to the international protection regime, and responds to the Council Conclusions of 2-3 November 2004 which invited the Commission to present an action plan for one or more pilot Regional Protection Programmes, aimed at enhancing the capacity of regions of origin and better protecting the refugee population there.

The Communication outlines the general framework in which the pilot Regional Protection Programmes should operate, makes recommendations for geographic application and content and sets out a way forward for the inclusion of the Regional Protection Programme approach across the Community’s relationship with the region and countries involved. The development and the implementation of these programmes should be taken forward in close cooperation with UNHCR and, where relevant, other international organisations.

The aim of Regional Protection Programmes is to deliver direct benefits to refugees as well as to contribute to improvement of the protection and human rights situation in the host country. A programme of 5 or 6 actions will be envisaged for each Regional Protection Programme, which includes registration and other projects which are focused on the delivery of practical benefits (training, infra-structure building, the provision of equipment etc).

The first pilot Regional Protection Programme will be implemented in the Western New Independent States (Western NIS), that is to say Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. This Programme will focus on strengthening already existing protection capacity, notably by giving practical support to the examination of asylum applications, the reinforcement of subsidiary protection, integration and documentation.

The Commission will immediately initiate dialogue with several third countries in the regions of origin to identify areas where the second pilot RPP should take place in the near future.

A joint resettlement programme, to be implemented on a voluntary basis, will be an important factor in every Regional Protection Programmes in terms of delivering a Durable Solutions outcome to refugees and demonstrating the partnership element to the third countries involved.

Statistics on international protection:
applications, decisions and countries of origin of asylum-seekers


1. Sources of data

The figures presented in the annexed tables come essentially from UNHCR reports.


2. Brief analysis of the statistics on international protection

Looking at the figures for the EU25, there has been a sharp decline from 425,520 applications in 2002 to 282,480 in 2004 (-34%). The new Member States (EU10), however, have seen a rise in the number of asylum-seekers, from 32,070 in 2002 to 38,920 in 2004 (+21%). In 2002 and 2003 the country receiving the highest number of applications was the UK (103,080 and 60,050 respectively), while in 2004 France had a record number of 61,600 applications.

Positive decisions (Geneva status + subsidiary protection status) have equally decreased in EU25 from 94,688 in 2002 to 47,458 in 2004 (-50%); data for 2004 is however still provisional and incomplete.

In 2004 the EU25 Member State which received the highest number of asylum applications per 1000 inhabitants was Cyprus (12.4), followed by Luxembourg (3.5), Malta (3.1) and Austria (3.0). Looking at the cumulated totals in the period 2000-2004, Cyprus is still at the top (with 22.2 applications per 1000 inhabitants), followed by Austria (17.9), Sweden (14.4) and Ireland (11.7).

Applicants from the Russian Federation represented 9.8% of the total number of applications in 2003 and 2004, followed by Serbia and Montenegro (6.6%), Turkey (6.1%) and Iraq (4.9%). The top 10 countries of origin represented 48.3% of the total number of applications.

3. Situation once the statistical regulation will be in force

Article 4 of the proposed Regulation on Community statistics on migration and international protection provides for the following:

Article 4 Statistics on international protection

1. Member States shall supply to the Commission (Eurostat) statistics on the numbers of:

(a) persons having submitted an application for international protection or being included in such an application as a family member;

(b) persons covered by applications for international protection under consideration by the responsible national authority at the end of the reference period;

(c) first instance decisions rejecting applications for international protection, including decisions considering applications as inadmissible or as unfounded;

(d) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing refugee status;

(e) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing subsidiary protection status;

(f) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing temporary protection;

(g) other first instance decisions granting, refusing or withdrawing authorisation to stay for humanitarian or other reasons under national law;

(h) applications for international protection having been withdrawn.

These statistics shall be disaggregated by age and sex, and by the citizenship of the persons concerned. They shall relate to reference periods of one calendar month and shall be supplied to the Commission (Eurostat) within two months of the end of the reference month. The first reference month shall be January 2006.

2. Member States shall supply to the Commission (Eurostat) statistics on the numbers of:

(a) applicants for international protection who are considered by the responsible national authority to be unaccompanied minors;

(b) decisions to reject applications for international protection, including decisions considering applications as inadmissible or as unfounded, taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;

(c) decisions to grant or withdraw refugee status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;

(d) decisions to grant or withdraw subsidiary protection status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;

(e) decisions to grant or withdraw temporary protection status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;

(f) other decisions taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review to grant, refuse or withdraw authorisations to stay for humanitarian or other reasons under national law;

(g) requests and transfers covered by Regulation (EC) No 343/2003and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003[1];

(h) persons selected for resettlement in the Member State.

These statistics shall be disaggregated by age and sex, and by the citizenship of the persons concerned. They shall relate to reference periods of one calendar year and shall be supplied to the Commission (Eurostat) within three months of the end of the reference year. The first reference year shall be 2006.
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Applications by country of asylum (UNHCR data)

Year of application

2002
2003
2004
Belgium
18810
16940
15360
Denmark
6070
4590
3220
Germany
71130
50560
35610
Greece
5660
8180
4470
Spain
6310
5920
5370
France
58970
59770
61600
Ireland
11630
7900
4770
Italy
16020
13460
10000
Luxembourg
1040
1550
1580
Netherlands
18670
13400
9780
Austria
39350
32360
24680
Portugal
250
90
110
Finland
3440
3220
3650
Sweden
33020
31350
23160
United Kingdom
103080
60050
40200
Czech Republic
8480
11400
5460
Estonia
10
10
20
Cyprus
950
4410
9860
Latvia
30
10
10
Lithuania
290
180
140
Hungary
6410
2400
1600
Malta
350
570
1230
Poland
5150
6920
8080
Slovenia
700
1100
1170
Slovakia
9700
10360
11350
EU 15
393450
309340
243560
EU 10
32070
37360
38920
EU 25
425520
346700
282480

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Positive decisions (Geneva+subs.) UNHCR data

2002
2003
2004[2]
Belgium
1331
1384

Denmark
2956
1323
190
Germany
8107
4703
3031
Greece
100
28
40
Spain
238
405
310
France
10570
13167
11292
Ireland
2101
1201
425
Italy
1974
2303

Luxembourg
0
211

Netherlands
8610
7820

Austria
1073
2084
5180
Portugal
30
13
0
Finland
591
494
760
Sweden
7451
5514
2570
United Kingdom
47435
26921
21155
Czech Republic
103
208
150
Estonia
0
0
0
Cyprus
92
181
60
Latvia
3
6
0
Lithuania
81
35
390
Hungary
1408
950
290
Malta
131
317
530
Poland
280
245
1045
Slovenia
3
37
25
Slovakia
20
11
15
EU 15
92567
67571
44953
EU 10
2121
1990
2505
EU 25
94688
69561
47458

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Asylum-seekers per 1000 inhabitants - UNHCR data

2004
Cumulated 2000-2004
Belgium
1,5
11,5
Denmark
0,6
7,2
Germany
0,4
3,9
Greece
0,4
2,5
Spain
0,1
0,9
France
1
4,7
Ireland
1,2
11,7
Italy
0,2
1,1
Luxembourg
3,5
2,3
Netherlands
0,6
7,4
Austria
3
17,9
Portugal
0
0,1
Finland
0,7
2,9
Sweden
2,6
14,4
United Kingdom
0,7
6,7
Czech Republic
0,5
5,1
Estonia
0
0
Cyprus
12,4
22,2
Latvia
0
0
Lithuania
0
0,3
Hungary
0,2
2,8
Malta
3,1
6
Poland
0,2
0,8
Slovenia
0,6
6,9
Slovakia
2,1
7,6
EU 15
0,6
4,6
EU 10
0,5
2,5
EU 25
0,6
4,2

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]






Main countries of origin of asylum-seekers in the EU25 (UNHCR data)


Total 2003 + 2004
Share
2003
2004
Origin




Russian federation
59047
9,8
31447
27600
Serbia and Montenegro
39650
6,6
20506
19144
Turkey
36617
6,1
22242
14375
Iraq
29808
4,9
8200
29808
China
26166
4,3
11122
26166
Nigeria
21965
3,6
11834
10131
India
20115
3,3
9525
20115
Iran
19911
3,3
11049
8862
Somalia
19889
3,3
13081
6808
Dem. Rep. Congo
18839
3,1
10433
8406
TOP 10 countries
292007
48,3
149439
171415
Other countries
312708
51,7
182813
101048
TOTAL
604715
100
332252
272463


[1] OJ L 222, 5.9.2003, p. 3.

[2] Figures for 2004 are provisional and incomplete for most Member States


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