Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Programmes in Europe - what works? (EMN)

This EMN study offers a comprehensive overview of policies and practices on the functioning of resettlement, humanitarian admission programmes and schemes, as well as private sponsorship programmes for refugees in the EU Member States and Norway 



In the wake of the humanitarian crisis associated with the ongoing civil war in Syria, Member States have stepped up efforts to provide protection as a durable solution for groups of refugees, to implement international solidarity and to provide safe, legal avenues for migration. In the same period the number of Member States setting up resettlement schemes has risen steadily, showing commitment to carry out agreements reached at EU level. The last few years have also seen a growth in private sponsorship initiatives, both in the number of Member States having set up such schemes and the number of persons admitted.

Belgian study

The study examines the policies and practices in place addressing the resettlement of refugees in Belgium. And although the Belgium resettlement programme is still a very recent one and the size of its structural resettlement programme remains rather modest, the national resettlement actors have identified challenges and good practices regarding the Belgian resettlement programme.

Among other conclusions, the study shows that:

  • Selection and cultural orientation missions by the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons and Fedasil in the countries of refuge are considered to be very important.
  • The lack of predictability of operations based on a series of factors, such as the capacity of local partners in the countries of refuge to support the operations, the delay in issuance of exit permits by host country authorities and the available reception places in Belgium, has significant consequences for the date of arrival of resettled refugees and for the planning and execution of the next steps in the resettlement process.
  • The basic introduction programme in the reception centres and the additional tailor-made orientation and integration support by two partner-NGOs for a period up to two years are considered  good practices.
  • Despite the pre- and post-arrival orientation and integration support, the management of the expectations of the resettled refugees about life in Belgium remains difficult.
  • There is a good collaboration among the Belgian resettlement partners with regular contacts during steering committee, stakeholders and coordination meetings allowing for planning, coordinating and sharing experiences and knowledge aiming to improve the Belgian resettlement programme.
  • Some challenges are related to the Belgian context in general and are not limited to the situation of resettled refugees. Such challenges are the shortage of affordable and adequate housing, the capacity of mainstream services and the access to the Belgian labour market.

EU Synthesis

The study helps identify difficulties and success factors for resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes. It provides insights to assist policy-makers in further elaborating and developing national programmes and joint European initiatives, also with a view to contributing to the handling of possible future refugee crises and humanitarian emergencies.

This Synthesis Report was prepared on the basis of National Contributions from 24 EMN NCPs (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom).

Publication Date:
Wed 30 Nov 2016
Main theme:
Publication type: