Today the European Parliament's LIBE Committee has taken a firm stand in support of the rights of refugees and increasing the number of resettled refugees in the EU.
The Committee approved a report calling on the EU to support the UN resettlement programme for refugees and to support other legal pathways for refugees to enter Europe. It also calls on member states to fulfil their obligations to resettle refugees.
The report adopted is in contrast to the European Commission's proposed text which aimed to continue the approach of turning refugee resettlement into a mechanism for controlling migration through deals with third countries like the EU-Turkey agreement.
While the EU has 24 percent of the world’s GDP, the EU only hosts 8 percent of the world’s refugees. The report aims at the EU resettling a fairer proportion of refugees.
Rapporteur, Malin Björk, comments: “I am proud that the European Parliament has taken a firm stand today by supporting the idea of a sustainable resettlement system for refugees in Europe.”
“I am very pleased that the members of the committee agreed to so many of my proposals. This means my fellow colleagues support me in my ambition to keep Europe open to people in need of international protection.
“Most importantly, the European Parliament has rejected the idea of resettlement as yet another tool for the EU to control migration. Resettlement will remain a humanitarian response to the global refugee situation, not another means for the EU to achieve foreign policy objectives or to control the borders of third countries,” adds the Swedish MEP.
The UN resettlement programme is a humanitarian programme, based on solidarity with people who are in need of protection and countries hosting large refugee populations. It was created in the aftermath of the second world war.
An EU resettlement framework based on these fundamental principles would mean that refugees would be selected for resettlement by the UNHCR and ensured a safe trip to a secure country in the EU. They would also be offered the opportunity to participate in an integration programme to help them to start new lives as soon as possible.
View the draft report