Resettling refugees: financial incentives for volunteer host countries

MEPs vote on Tuesday 18 May at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France
EU Member States that volunteer to welcome third-country refugees could receive up to €6,000 per resettled person under a draft EU law amended by Parliament on Tuesday. EU Member States currently contribute far less to refugee resettlement than do other developed countries such as the USA, Australia and Canada. MEPs also approved the setting up of a European Asylum Support Office, following an agreement reached with the Council.


The EU contributed to only 6.7% of the global resettlement of refugees in 2008, with 4,378 individuals. The UNHCR estimates that 747,000 are in need of resettlement. To date, only ten EU Member States have taken part in any resettlement schemes.


To encourage more Member States to help in resettlement, MEPs are proposing that they should receive funding of €6,000 per person for the first year for Member States applying for the first time, €5,000 in the second year and €4,000 thereafter. The additional amount that newly participating Member States receive for the first two years must be invested in developing a sustainable resettlement programme.


Parliament adopted the report by Portuguese MEP Rui Tavares (GUE/NGL) by 512 votes to 81, with 7 abstentions.

The programme seeks to resettle in the EU individuals who have been granted refugee status in third countries (for example, Iraqi refugees in Syria). It will follow a number of EU priorities, upon which Parliament and the Council have yet to agree. MEPs wish priority to go to children and women at risk of violence or exploitation, unaccompanied minors, persons with serious medical needs, and survivors of violence and torture. The Council wishes to establish priorities according to the geographic origin and nationality of refugees.


Asylum: an agency to assist Member States


Parliament also approved the creation of a European Asylum Support Office when it adopted a second-reading report by British Green MEP Jean Lambert. Based in Valletta (Malta) the office will lend its expertise to Member States receiving asylum seekers. It will seek to strengthen co-operation among national authorities and afford administrative support to Member States subject to particular pressure. Parliament and the Council agreed at second reading to assign the office the task of co-ordinating information exchange on resettlement measures carried out by Member States.

Finally, the EU decision establishing a European Refugee Fund is expected to be amended to ensure that it is adequately funded, when MEPs vote on Wednesday on a report by Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) on this matter.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

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