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Joint EU resettlement programme proposal expected this week

Briefing notes

Joint EU resettlement programme proposal expected this week

1 September 2009 Also available in:

Tomorrow (2 September) the European Commission (EC) is expected to put forward a proposal which promotes EU financial support for resettlement to the EU. It will also establish steps for practical cooperation among EU Member States in the area of resettlement. Participation of the States is expected to be on a voluntary basis.

UNHCR welcomes the establishment of an EU Resettlement Programme and hopes it will result in additional resettlement places beyond the number currently provided by EU Member States. It is also hoped that the programme will strengthen integration support for refugees already resettled across the EU. UNHCR is looking forward to working closely with the European Commission and EU Member States on resettlement.

The number of EU countries engaged in resettlement and the numbers of refugees resettled in the EU remains low but is slowly rising. At present, ten EU Member States are involved in resettlement. In 2008 EU countries resettled just over 4,378 refugees. By comparison, over 60,000 refugees were resettled to the United States. A Joint EU Resettlement Programme will be a welcome development for the many refugees that need resettlement. It will show the EU's solidarity with countries in the developing world that host large numbers of refugees.