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UNHCR calls on Romanian EU Presidency to unite EU countries in stronger and fairer response for refugees

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UNHCR calls on Romanian EU Presidency to unite EU countries in stronger and fairer response for refugees

21 December 2018
Romania. Refugee children find their voice in inclusive choirs
Refugee children attend choir practice at the Scoala Gimnaziala Ferdinand I in Bucharest, Romania, in May 2018.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today released its recommendations for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU).

“UNHCR calls on Romania to use its upcoming Presidency to mobilize the EU around the stronger and fairer response for forcibly displaced people that is at the heart of the Global Compact on Refugees. This includes demonstrating solidarity across the EU for refugees and countries hosting them,” said UNHCR’s Regional Representative for EU Affairs, Gonzalo Vargas Llosa.

UNHCR is also urging the Romanian Presidency to engage outside the EU to expand protection globally. This includes encouraging States to be prepared for refugee movements and to establish and strengthen relevant asylum institutions and procedures. Increased legal pathways, including by reuniting families, so people do not have to resort to smugglers and dangerous journeys to seek safety, are also vital in ensuring protection for refugees globally is robust.

Among the main recommendations is the need for ensuring a fair, effective and well-managed asylum system. In particular, a reform of the Dublin regulation should contain an effective relocation mechanism to support those Member States which receive a disproportionate number of asylum claims. Until such a mechanism is in place, UNHCR encourages ad-hoc arrangements to foster responsibility-sharing by EU Member States.

UNHCR remains ready to provide support to the Romanian Presidency, the EU and its Member States, to ensure a functioning, fair and accessible European asylum system, and leadership at the global level.

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