Joint EU resettlement programme
EU Commissioner Malmström has issued a statement welcoming the European Council adoption of a common position on the Joint EU resettlement programme.
In his statement, the Commissioner says: “This is a much needed measure and a considerable step towards concrete engagements and increased cooperation regarding resettlement of refugees to Europe and will allow us to pool our resources and make a true difference in a spirit of solidarity."
2012 is the deadline for setting up the Common European Asylum System which will guarantee common minimum standards and procedures, and a uniform refugee status. A stronger engagement in resettlement also forms an integral part of the EU common asylum policy.
The Joint EU Resettlement Programme will increase the impact of the EU resettlement efforts in providing protection to refugees and maximising the strategic impact of resettlement through a better targeting of those persons who are in greatest need of resettlement.
The Resettlement Programme will specify a broader list of refugees whose resettlement will qualify for EU funding. There will also be specific EU resettlement priorities, specifying the nationalities of refugees and the countries from which resettlement should take place as a priority and for whom EU funding is available. In 2013 that list will include refugees from Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Burma and Eritrea. Finally, the programme offers additional financial incentive for the countries that start to engage in resettlement activities.
For the period 2014-2020, the Commission proposes to set up a new mechanism which will be more flexible and attractive for the Member States and which will allow for more strategic use of resettlement. This should lead to a substantial increase in resettlement to the EU. The aim is to see more national resettlement schemes established and to increase the already existing ones.