A senior EU official said that in 2024 and 2025, the Union will allow the entry of more than 60,000 of the most vulnerable refugees. This is a slight increase compared to previous years, while the official rejected criticism that the EU is more welcoming to Ukrainians than others.
European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on Thursday, December 14, that the EU will provide about 61,000 places for resettlement and humanitarian admission.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said before the forum that many Western politicians had become less welcoming to refugees in the face of their influxes, and urged them to do more.
A press release published by the European Commission on its official website on Saturday, December 16, stated that the European Union’s plans for resettlement and humanitarian admission have, for several years, provided a path to a new homeland and a decent life.
The statement stated that among these, there are 31,000 people awaiting resettlement within European Union countries, and this will be implemented in close cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
It also stressed the importance of the European Union’s contribution to meeting global resettlement needs.
The new pledges also include the EU’s commitment to promoting more EU complementary routes and community care schemes, as well as continuing to fund emergency transit mechanisms.
The statement added that providing safe and legal paths for those in need of international protection contributes to reducing irregular migration.
For 2023, about 17 EU countries have pledged to resettle, with Germany, France and Spain being the three most generous countries in this regard, according to an EU document.
The European Union also provides protection to more than four million Ukrainian refugees who have fled since the Russian invasion in February 2022.
In response to a journalist’s question about whether the European Union prefers Ukrainian refugees over refugees from other countries, Johansson said, “We are not abandoning resettlement, in fact we are slightly promoting resettlement. So this is not true.”
Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from one country of asylum to another. Some rich countries, including Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union, have temporarily suspended admissions, due to pressure on their asylum systems.