The European Union has committed to resettling nearly 61,000 refugees in some of its member countries over the next two years, European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Thursday.
“We have, since 2015, resettled and through humanitarian admission programmes giving protection to 175,000 people in the European Union,”Johansson told a press conference on the margins of the United Nations’ Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
“And now, I am happy to announce that for 2024 and 2025 I have, from 14 member states, pledges for resettlement and humanitarian admission (for) … almost 61,000 people,” she said.
Around 31,000 of that total would be resettled via programmes run by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
Johansson said the figure was slightly higher than in recent years.
She did not say which 14 of the 27 EU member states would be taking in the refugees.
The UNHCR’s resettlement programmes enable people who have officially sought protection in one country to be transferred to another country that has agreed to admit them, afford them international protection and ultimately give them permanent residence.
Johansson said that over the past three years, bloc members had granted protection to approximately one million people, which meant that the EU was hosting “20 percent of the world’s refugees”.