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Europe's responsibility on refugee resettlement affirmed in EP vote


18 May 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

Backing Rui Tavares's (GUE/NGL, Portugal) report on the establishment of a joint EU resettlement programme, the European Parliament today voted in favour of more funding for EU member states that welcome refugees and for the setting up of a European Asylum Support Office.

Europe currently contributes far less to refugee resettlement, accepting only 4,378 individuals in 2008 (one sixth of the number of resettlements in the US). While only ten EU countries currently take part in resettlement schemes, the UN estimates that there are 747,000 refugees in need of resettlement.

"With the passing of my report, Parliament is seeking the creation of a European Resettlement Programme which takes into account the need to respond quickly and appropriately to an emergency; assess the needs of refugees to be re­settled; brings together expertise and allows the sharing of information between countries" Tavares said after the vote.

"This is about acknowledging the immense contribution those from outside Europe have made to European societies. Structured cooperation on resettlement activities within the EU will improve the qual­ity of reception and integration in host countries."

Under the proposed law, countries could receive up to €6,000 per resettlement with priority going to children and women at risk of violence or exploitation, unaccompanied minors, persons with serious medical needs, and survivors of violence and torture.


David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12

Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28

Sonja Giese + 32 486 94 50 21

Gauche Unitaire Européenne / Gauche Verte Nordique

European United Left / Nordic Green Left