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Friday, 16 March 2012

Refugee resettlement priorities for 2013

The Justice and Home Affairs Council adopted a decision which introduces EU refugee resettlement priorities for 2013, as well as new rules on the financial support that the member states receive from EU funds to accommodate refugees from outside the EU in their territories (resettlement). Notably, the amending decision introduces six EU resettlement priorities for 2013, notably including refugees and displaced persons in the Great Lakes Region (Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia),  Somali  refugees in Ethiopia as well as Eritrean displaced people in Eastern Sudan.
Under the new decision, member states will be entitled to receive from the European Refugee Fund a fixed amount of EUR 6 000 per resettled refugee, if they are applying for such compensation for the first time; EUR 5 000 per refugee, if the state had already applied for such compensation once before; or EUR 4 000 for all other states.
These new co-financing rules are an addition to the existing legal framework that regulates the European Refugee Fund (EUR 630 million) over the period 2008-2013. The Fund was established to co-finance national efforts in receiving refugees and displaced persons and guaranteeing them access to consistent, fair and effective asylum procedures. It also finances related EU-level action.
The co-financing from the Fund includes member states' actions such as improvements to accommodation infrastructure, integration of persons whose stay in the territory of a member state is prolonged and stable, training to ensure access to asylum procedures, legal and social assistance, etc.
To make the planning of expenditure from the European Refugee Fund easier for the Commission, member states are asked to provide plans by 1 May this year, indicating how many refugees per priority group they plan to resettle in 2013.
These changes are part of broader revisions of the European Refugee Fund, which are being discussed by the Council and the European Parliament for the new EU financial perspective 2014-20.

Source: Council of the European Union