European Refugee Fund

In order to share the costs of reception, integration and voluntary repatriation, European member states agreed in 2000 to set up a European Refugee Fund (ERF). The ERF aims to promote solidarity within the European Union (EU) in matters of asylum, by supporting and encouraging the efforts of member states on behalf of refugees in their territories. The current ERF, from 2008-2013, has been allocated EUR 628 million.

Among other aims, the ERF seeks to support and improve the efforts of EU member states to apply fair and effective asylum procedures and to promote good practices in the field of asylum. All EU member states, except for Denmark, are beneficiaries of the ERF. Most of the fund is distributed to member states, while about 10 percent is earmarked for community actions involving more than one country.

Beneficiary countries develop their own multi-annual programmes for the use of the resources they receive. These can be allocated to a wide range of governmental and other institutions in areas such as education, training and research. Other beneficiaries include social partners, as well as international and non-governmental organizations.