Resettlement means the admission of non-EU nationals in need of international protection from a non-EU country to which they have been displaced to an EU country where they are granted protection. It is a safe and legal alternative to irregular journeys and a demonstration of European solidarity with non-EU countries hosting large numbers of persons fleeing war or persecution. Resettlement is based on referrals by the UNHCR.
Since 2015, three successful EU-sponsored resettlement schemes, involving a significant number of EU countries, have helped almost 75,000 of the most vulnerable people in need of international protection find shelter in the EU.
Resettlement is an important element of the EU-Turkey Statement. Since March 2016, more than 28,000 Syrians have been resettled to EU countries.
To move from ad hoc resettlement schemes to schemes that operate on the basis of a stable framework, the Commission proposed a regulation in 2016 establishing a Union Resettlement Framework to provide safe and legal pathways to international protection as part of the overhaul of the EU asylum system. The adoption of the regulation is pending.
In addition to resettlement, the EU promotes humanitarian admission schemes as well as other complementary pathways to protection linked to education and work. Moreover, the EU promotes community sponsorship schemes to give civil society organisations, communities and groups of individuals a stronger, more structured role in the reception and integration of refugees arriving through the above-mentioned legal pathways.
The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) supports EU countries in the implementation of their resettlement programmes including through the Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Network, which was created in January 2020.
On 9 July 2021, Commissioner Johansson convened a High-level Resettlement Forum with Representatives of the European Union, the United States of America, the Government of Canada, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and civil society representatives with a view to stepping up resettlement and complementary pathways through joint leadership. Read the statement.
- Commission Recommendation (EU) 2020/1364 on legal pathways to protection in the EU: promoting resettlement, humanitarian admission and other complementary pathways
- Commission Recommendation (EU) 2017/1803 on enhancing legal pathways for persons in need of international protection
- Council Conclusions on resettling through multilateral and national schemes 20 000 persons in clear need of international protection
- #TimeToDeliverMigrationEU No.9 - Time to show democratic leadership by providing international protection. High-level Forum on resettlement and refugee protection (9th July)
- Factsheet: Delivering on resettlement, October 2019
- Factsheet: Delivering on resettlement, June 2019
- European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA)