Over 4,000 asylum seekers in the EU have been relocated to other European countries under the current Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism. This cooperation allows asylum applicants to be relocated from their EU host country of first entry, often following disembarkations after search and rescue operations, to another European country.
Current participating European Member States and countries have made available more than 8,000 places for relocating asylum seekers. Yesterday’s relocation of 31 people brings the total number of relocated persons so far to over 4,000.
Implemented by the EU since 2022, with the support of the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) and the , the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism supports EU countries managing migratory arrivals and helps alleviate pressure on local reception and asylum systems in Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Italy, and Spain.
The EU launched an emergency relocation programme in 2015, to reduce the burden on Italy and Greece following a high number of migrant arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea at that time. Under this programme, 34,700 persons were relocated to other European countries, including Norway and Switzerland, with the support of EU agencies and EU funding.
After the end of the emergency programme in 2017, certain EU countries started making pledges for the voluntary relocation of migrants rescued at sea in the Central Mediterranean, under the coordination of the European Commission. Finally, a new mechanism, the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism, founded on the Declaration of solidarity, was launched by 21 European countries in June 2022. Experience and lessons learnt from the current scheme will be taken on board for the new Permanent Solidarity Mechanism to be implemented under the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.
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- Publication date
- 6 February 2024
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs