MEPs support a first-ever EU Resettlement framework 


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  • Novel EU rules on resettlement 
  • Will help vulnerable refugees reach the EU safely and obtain legal status 
  • EU contribution to global resettlement efforts will be streamlined, pledges by member states are voluntary 

MEPs backed on Wednesday EU resettlement rules to strengthen solidarity with countries hosting large number of displaced persons and reduce irregular and dangerous migratory movements.

The framework comprises common procedures for resettlement and humanitarian admission of particularly vulnerable persons that are eligible to receive refugee or subsidiary protection status in the EU. It aims to reduce divergences between national approaches and lead to a more unified EU policy. The rules are based on the full and inclusive application of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the ‘Geneva Convention’). They were adopted with 452 votes in favour, 154 against and 14 abstentions.

Particular attention will be given to at-risk women and girls, persons in danger of being forcibly returned to their countries, survivors of violence or torture, unaccompanied minors, persons with medical needs or disabilities and persons in protracted refugee situations.

Safe and legal way to Europe

Candidates for resettlement, identified in most cases by the UNHCR, and accepted by a particular member state, will be able to reach EU territory in a legal, organized and safe way. They will be offered long-term and durable solutions to their displacement with legal status and access to all the fundamental rights associated with this status. The resettlement ensures family unity and extends eligibility to family members of the admitted person.

Stronger global role for the EU

Member states will participate in the scheme by offering resettlement on a voluntary basis. The EU as a whole will be able to set targets for specific regions and countries, with predictable planning over a period of two years. This will help the EU strengthen solidarity with countries around the world that are hosting large numbers of persons in need of international protection.


Rapporteur Malin Björk (The Left, Sweden) said: "This is the only piece of legislation in the so-called migration pact that opens up a safe and legal pathway for people in need of international protection. The EU Resettlement framework, based on UNHCR's work, is an important pathway for the most vulnerable refugees, and I hope all member states will take the opportunity to participate. We certainly have the capacity as well as the international obligation to do so."

Next steps

The new rules have to be formally approved by the Council. This Regulation will enter into force twenty days following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This legislation will not apply in Denmark and Ireland.


According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2024 there are more than two million refugees in need of resettlement worldwide with numbers increasing in all regions. The offer of places available remains significantly lower than the demand.

The legislation is part of the wider revamp of the EU’s common asylum and migration rules, on which Parliament voted today. You can find more information here.