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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Joint EU refugee resettlement programme inches forward

EU ParliamentImage by Louis Kreusel via Flickr  
Via Ecre

During a debate in mini-plenary on 23 March, all major parties represented at the European Parliament (EP) agreed on the need to move forward with the Joint EU Resettlement Programme (JERP).

Since the presentation of a communication and a proposal by the Commission and the adoption of two reports by the EP in May 2010, the negotiations have been in a deadlock. The debate took place following oral questions submitted by the GUE/NGL, the ALDE and the EPP groups, asking if the Presidency would consider the EU Resettlement Programme to be a priority. Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE) emphasised the “tremendous consensus” in the EP regarding support towards the establishment of the Joint EU Resettlement Programme.

Ms. Győri Enikő, Hungarian Minister of State for EU Affairs and Representative of the Hungarian EU Presidency, acknowledged the urgent need to adopt such a Programme. Indeed, Enikő officially announced that Hungary was preparing a programme to start next year. The Minister also called on Member States to resettle refugees from Libya within their capacities even in the absence of an established programme.

On 30 March, the EU its celebrating its annual Resettlement Awareness Day, which this year focuses on the integration of resettled refugees and is hosted by MEP Rui Tavares, Rapporteur for the Joint EU Resettlement Programme.

Representatives from the US, the European Commission, the Hungarian Presidency and the host himself will present their views on how resettlement can move forward. Resettled refugees, representatives from an NGO and a resettlement municipality in the UK will share their practical experiences on resettlement.
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