European Commission publishes first report on relocation and resettlement
Today, the Commission is reporting on the implementation of the temporary emergency relocation schemes and the European resettlement scheme. The report summarises the challenges and proposes recommendations to improve the implementation of these schemes.
The Commission is reporting today on the implementation of the temporary emergency relocation schemes and the European resettlement scheme. Member States committed to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece (and if relevant from other Member States) by September 2017. Furthermore, the Member States agreed to resettle 22,504 persons in clear need of international protection.
With 937 asylum applicants relocated from Greece and Italy as of 15 March (24 to Belgium), the pace of transfers is unsatisfactory, even if there are now the first signs of a more positive trend. The lack of political will among Member States has been the most important factor in slowing down the process.
In its report, the Commission makes several specific recommendations to the Member States of relocation. Among other recommendations, it asks them to increase their pledges and shorten the time needed to process applications. It also asks Greece and Italy to step up efforts from their side to ensure a speedy and efficient functioning of the scheme.
4,555 displaced people in need of protection were resettled as of 15 March to 11 countries (212 to Belgium). The main challenges are linked to the differences in selection criteria, length of procedures, integration tools or number of places available between Member States. Problems also arise from the lack of reception capacity, and from the delays caused by exit clearances in third countries.
The Commission is calling for the exchange of best practices and experiences among the resettling countries to be stepped up, in particular for those countries engaging in resettlement for the first time. In addition, Member States should continue work on the voluntary humanitarian admission scheme for Syrian Refugees in Turkey, proposed by the Commission on 15 December 2015.
For more information, including the full press release, the "Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: First report on relocation and resettlement", and the detailed state of play reports (with figures), please visit the European Commission’s website.