Brussels: The European Commission has recently unveiled plans for the 2024-2025 period, wherein EU Member States will collectively establish 61,000 new spaces dedicated to resettlement and humanitarian reception for individuals urgently requiring international protection.
In an official statement, the Commission outlined the initiative’s two crucial components: a commitment to create 31,000 resettlement places in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and an additional 30,000 places designated for humanitarian admission.
Ylva Johansson, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, highlighted a notable increase in resettlement opportunities within the EU compared to previous years. In 2022, approximately 17,300 individuals in need of international protection were resettled from non-EU countries, representing a six percent decrease from 2021. However, there was a substantial 97 percent increase compared to 2020 figures.
A significant proportion of those resettled were Syrians, constituting 63 percent of the total. Since 2015, a total of 175,000 individuals have been resettled in the EU or granted protection through humanitarian admission programs.
Acknowledging the pressing global resettlement needs, the Commission has designated these initiatives as a top priority, collaborating with key international partners such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
To bolster these efforts, the Commission has committed a substantial budget of €480 million for the period 2023-2025. This financial commitment aims to support the comprehensive humanitarian resettlement and admission efforts of EU Member States. In 2023, the Commission has already disbursed €246 million to Member States, focusing on individuals admitted through resettlement and humanitarian admission in the past two years.
The EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) plays a crucial role in advancing these objectives. The Resettlement Support Facility in Istanbul, overseen by EUAA, is slated for expansion. Additionally, the EUAA is collaborating with other partner third countries to establish additional operational support structures for resettlement.
Johansson emphasized that the EU has provided protection to over four million Ukrainian refugees who fled following Russia’s invasion in February of the previous year.
Recent data from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) revealed that Germany witnessed a net immigration of approximately one million people from Ukraine in 2022 and the first half of 2023, following the Russian invasion in February 2022.