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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article18 December 2019Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations2 min read

Resettlement: EU Member States' pledges exceed 30,000 places for 2020

The European Commission announced financial support for Member States that collectively pledged more than 30,000 resettlement places for 2020 at the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.


The European Commission announced financial support for Member States that collectively pledged more than 30,000 resettlement places for 2020 at the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas said: “Resettlement is a European success story and must remain so. The European Union's Member States are making the largest collective pledge of resettlement places they have ever done. This makes the EU the biggest contributor to resettlement efforts worldwide – though we would hope more would follow suit and increase their pledges to match the growing needs. When we cooperate and work together, we can create durable, effective and safe systems to offer protection to the world's most vulnerable.

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said: “Resettlement is a key tool in ensuring that people in need of protection do not put their lives at risk and reach the EU via safe and legal pathways. It is a key component of the comprehensive approach to migration we need to continue developing, including strong partnerships with third countries. Member States' ambitious pledges must continue and the EU will provide the necessary support. We cannot allow any gaps in this respect. The Commission intends to put forward a recommendation to pull together Member States' efforts and hence make the EU voice even stronger on the global scene.

The European Commission was represented at a high-level at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. On 16 December, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, participated in the spotlight session panel on ‘The Syrian refugee crisis – Delivering in partnership'. Today, Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, will deliver a keynote speech at the closing plenary session, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, will participate in the high-level panel on education.

Since 2015, more than 65,000 vulnerable refugees have found protection in Europe through the EU's resettlement schemes. The collective pledge from Member States for a further 30,000 resettlement places in 2020 confirms the EU's role as a global leader on resettlement.

In line with the UNHCR's projected global resettlement needs for 2020, the EU resettlement programme will prioritise resettlements from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the countries along the Central Mediterranean route. Resettlements from the Emergency Transit Mechanisms in Niger and Rwanda will also remain a high priority.

The EU promotes Member States' resettlement programmes through operational support provided by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).


Resettlement is an important tool to help people in need of international protection reach Europe safely and legally. As well as ensuring protection for refugees, resettlement also strengthens solidarity and responsibility-sharing between Member States.

In July 2019, the European Commission called on Member States to expand and build on existing resettlement schemes and make pledges for the resettlement of persons in need of international protection in 2020. EU Member States responded to this call and collectively pledged more than 30,000 places, which will be supported by the European Union's budget. The EU budget provides for €10,000 per resettled refugee in financial support to the resettling Member State.

A New Pact on Migration and Asylum is a priority of the von der Leyen Commission. Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson have been tasked with making European migration policy stronger and more comprehensive. Resettlement is an important element of the EU's comprehensive migration policy, and will remain a high priority in the years to come.

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