Asylum and migration: deal reached on new EU resettlement framework  

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  • First ever 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  

On Thursday, negotiators from the European Parliament and of the Czech Council Presidency reached an agreement on the first ever EU resettlement framework.

On Thursday, negotiators from the European Parliament and of the Czech Council Presidency reached an agreement on the first ever EU resettlement framework.

The framework comprises common procedures for resettlement and humanitarian admission of particularly vulnerable persons that are eligible to receive refugee status or subsidiary protection status in the EU. It aims to reduce divergences between national approaches and lead to a more unified EU policy.

Particular attention under the new rules 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

Persons presented 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.

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: "We finally have a piece of legislation that opens up a safe and legal way to come to Europe for thousands of extremely vulnerable refugees around the world. It is a big day for the European Union and for all of us who stand up for human rights. It is also an important step whereby the EU now shows it is prepared to fully participate in global resettlement efforts and support the work of UNHCR in this field. I am thankful to the Czech presidency, which has been working hard for this proposal."

Next steps

The agreed text needs to be endorsed first by the Civil Liberties Committee and then by Parliament as a whole, as well as Council. It will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force. The European Parliament and the upcoming Council Presidencies have committed to make all efforts to finalise the reform of the Asylum and Migration legislative framework before April 2024.


The Commission has tabled the original proposal in 2016 and the work concluded today builds upon negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council that took place between 2016 and 2018.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are more than two million refugees in need of resettlement worldwide in 2023 with numbers increasing in all regions of the world. The offer of places available remains significantly lower than the demand.