Migration and Home Affairs

Resettlement and other pathways to protection

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.

Resettlement schemes

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 Asylum Support Office (EASO) supports EU countries in the implementation of their resettlement programmes including through the Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Network, which was created in January 2020.

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