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Romania: Increase of assistance granted to asylum seekers approved by government (Unofficial translation)

In October 2015, the Government stated in a release transmitted to the National Press Agency (AGERPRES) that, based on data provided by the Research Institute for Quality of Life, a set of values was established, redefining and significantly increasing the monthly expenses rate for an adult asylum seeker. For the warm season, the total amount was estimated at 1,117 RON (249 euros) per month while for the cold season, it was estimated at 1,185 RON (264 euros).  A draft Government Decision (GD) amending the Methodological Norms for the enforcement of Law no 122/2006, which defines the legal status of asylum seekers in Romania, was later published and opened for public consultation. It provided that "the asylum seeker shall receive, upon request, food within the limit of 10 RON (2.23 euros) per person per day, clothing within the limit of 67 RON (14.92 euros) per person per summer season and 100 RON (22.27 euros) per person per winter season and other expenses within the limit of 6 RON (1.34 euro) per person per day". On the 19 January 2016, the draft GD was approved by the Romanian Government

The Law no 122/2006 which established the right for asylum seekers to receive, upon request, the necessary assistance for subsistence, also limited the assistance to the case of a lack of necessary material means at their disposal ". According to its first Methodological Norms for enforcement, approved by the Government Decision no 1251/2006 (Art. 17 (1) j ), the amounts granted for food, accommodation and other expenses is supplied from the state budget, through the Ministry of Administration and Interior. Between 2006 and January 2016, asylum seekers received, upon request, food within the limit of 3 RON (0.67 euro) per person per day, accommodation within the limit of 1.8 RON (0.40 euro  per person per day - if the the asylum seeker is not lodge in one of the reception and accommodation centres subordinated to the General Inspectorate of Immigration - and other expenses within the limit of 0.6 RON (0.13 euro) person per day. (Art. 55 - 1)

Concerning the accommodation granted to the asylum seekers, the Law no 122/2006  (Art. 17 (1) k) provides that an asylum seeker who does not dispose of the necessary material means for subsistence has "the right to be housed in the reception and accommodation centres that are subordinated to the General Inspectorate of Immigration, until the right to stay on Romanian soil expires". Law no 331/2015 for the amendement and supplementation of certain normative acts on aliens, which entered into force on 24 December 2015, added a new paragraph stating that "when the accommodation capacity of the reception and accommodation centres for asylum seekers is exceeded, the General Inspectorate for Immigration may grant asylum seekers, within the limits of the available funds, an amount of money for the purpose of renting a place of residency (...)". According to the 2016 GD, asylum seekers may benefit from material assistance for the purpose of renting a place of residency within the limit of 450 RON (100 euros) per person per month and assistance to cover utilities expenses amounting to 120 RON (26.76 euros) per person per month during the warm season and to 155 (34,52 euros) per person per month during the cold season.