EU to resettle 50,000 migrants and speed up returns

TMP – 11/10/2017

European Union leaders have unveiled a resettlement plan for at least 50,000 vulnerable migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa over the next two years.

According to the EU statement issued on 27 September, the Commission is proposing a new resettlement scheme with at least 50,000 additional resettlement quotas for particularly vulnerable migrants to be admitted to Europe by October 2019.
Resettlement from Turkey and the Middle East will continue while a special focus will be put on resettlement from North Africa and the Horn of Africa, notably Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia.

The European Commission has set aside 500 million euro to support member states in the resettlement process.

The EU also plans to introduce new measures to make the EU’s return policy more effective and plans to step up return efforts on all fronts, with an estimated 1.5 million people to be returned to their countries in the near future. A factsheet on the EU return policy states that “a strengthened Return Department with operational autonomy will ensure that its new return tools are fully operationalized and exploited.”

EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “We propose to create a true operational EU return hub within the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. And we need to open real alternatives to taking perilous irregular journeys.”