The European Commission proposes to allocate 54 000 places for resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey
Share article:
Share article:

The European Commission proposes to allocate 54 000 places for resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey

Following last week’s EU-Turkey agreement, the European Commission is proposing to amend a Council Decision to make more places available for resettlement of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey. With this amendment, places which were foreseen for relocation of asylum seekers in Italy and Greece to other EU member states, will now be available for the purpose of resettling directly Syrian refugees from Turkey to the EU.

The Commission explains that the proposal responds to the need to commit further places for resettlement from Turkey, following the agreement to resettle one Syrian from Turkey for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey after arriving irregularly in the Greek islands.

This 1:1 scheme aims to quickly replace irregular flows of migrants travelling in dangerous conditions across the Aegean by an orderly and legal resettlement process.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “With the agreement reached with Turkey on Friday, we are offering asylum seekers a credible alternative to putting their lives at risk on dangerous sea routes. Member States now need to honour their commitments and ensure an orderly, well managed and safe arrival and admission to Europe for persons in need of international protection in Turkey.”

In order for the scheme to function, member states must make a sufficient number of resettlement places available, within the framework of their existing commitments. The number of resettled Syrians would be deducted from Member States’ relocation quotas.

According to Yves Pascouau, director of Migration and Mobility Policies at the European Policy Centre (EPC), the EU-Turkey agreement raises both legal and practical uncertainties. “In practice, it is likely that few states will accept to resettle Syrian refugees,” he writes in a commentary (21 March).

Relocation and resettlement – two different measures

To relieve the pressure on front-line member states, EU decided in September 2015 to relocate 160 000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other member states. 54 000 of the places have not yet been allocated under this scheme.

According to statistics published by the Commission, only 937 persons had been relocated by 15 March. The following member states had not received any relocated asylum seekers: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

To avoid displaced persons from having to resort to smuggling networks, EU member states agreed in July 2015 to resettle about 22 000 persons in need of international protection from outside of the EU directly to member states. As of 15 March, altogether 4116 people had been resettled to eight EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The Brussels Times


Latest news

Belgium switches to winter time this weekend (yes, again)
This weekend, Belgium will once again change the clocks from summer to winter time, meaning that at 3:00 AM, the clocks will go back one hour, ...
Turkey gets green light to join EU schemes, UK still waiting
On Wednesday, Turkey was given the go-ahead to join the EU’s flagship research, education and youth programmes while the United Kingdom’s bid to stay ...
‘Too much, too quickly’: 40% of burnout patients given antidepressants
The process of diagnosing burnout among people in Belgium is too slow, while too many antidepressants are being prescribed too quickly to people ...
Travel confidence: 2 in 3 Europeans plan to travel in the next six months
Demand for travel is strong across Europe despite the end of the peak summer season, with 2 in 3 Europeans planning to travel in the next six months. ...
Brussels metro: strikes continue to cause delays
Strike action by metro staff continues to cause delays on Brussels metro lines M1, M2, M5, and M6. This follows from Wednesday's strikes, organised ...
New police team will investigate mobile phones of trafficking victims
From now on, a new police team will systematically examine the mobile phones of victims of human smugglers in an effort to track down the criminals ...
Thousands of travellers could face delays at Brussels Airport due to action
The around 50,000 travellers expected by Brussels Airport in Zaventem on Friday could face delays as the police at the border controls are planning a ...
Face masks re-introduced in certain grades of Flemish primary schools
The wearing of face masks will once again be mandatory for pupils in the fifth and sixth years of Dutch-speaking primary schools, starting from ...
Push backs of irregular migrants: Is the Commission turning a blind eye?
The situation at EU’s external borders with Belarus continues to raise concerns about  human rights and humanitarian aid but it is difficult for ...
Covid-19 infections, deaths and hospitalisations continue to rise
The number of coronavirus infections, as well as the number of deaths and hospitalisations as a result of it, is continuing to increase in Belgium. ...
Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Use of CST in gyms will see Basic-Fit’s 24/7 centres close at night
Belgium's Consultative Committee announced on Tuesday that it would be standardising the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) meaning it will be needed ...