EU Commission plans to resettle refugees voluntarily

On 27 September, the EU Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, introduced an official proposal of a two-year voluntary relocation programme with the aim to resettle at least 50,000 most vulnerable individuals meeting the rules of international protection directly from Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. For this purpose, the Commission has set €500 million aside .

One of the goals of the new system is to discourage migrants from taking the dangerous route through the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The programme should primarily focus on resettling people from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad, and Ethiopia, which could be seen as an attempt to placate Italy who has been facing a strong migration pressure until recently. Concurrently, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano indicated on 28 September that the resettlement of migrants from Libya should also be conducted by non-European countries. With the resettlement programme being established on a voluntary basis, the Commission probably aims to evade disputes with the V4 states who have been consistently refusing to accept refugees according to the quota mechanism. The mandatory relocation programme expired on 26 September with only 29,144 from the planned 160,000 screened individuals located in Greece and Italy having been distributed among the EU member states.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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