On its final registration day (26/09), IOM, the UN Migration Agency counts nearly 30,000 asylum seekers that the organization has assisted through the European Union’s emergency relocation scheme.
Set up two years ago to relocate over 100,000 asylum seekers from frontline EU Member States –Greece and Italy – EU member and associated states will have until the end of December 2017 to carry out the remaining registered relocations.
Reflecting on the achievements and shortcomings of the programme, UN Migration Agency Director General William Lacy Swing praised the scheme and its potential to relieve pressure on frontline states, to help thousands of stranded asylum seekers, and to demonstrate the fundamental values that define the EU. He urged the EU and its Member States to continue the relocation programme in uninterrupted, improved form.
Given the current departure numbers, and provided that states keep up their pledges and commitment to the scheme, IOM is ready to relocate another 5,000–7,500 people up to the end of December 2017. It will continue to implement pre-departure health assessment, orientation and travel assistance.
To date, Germany (8,479), France (4,474), The Netherlands (2,442), Sweden (2,276) and Finland (1,975) have welcomed the highest number of relocated asylum seekers.
Malta along with Norway and Lichtenstein (the two non-EU countries which opted in to the programme) have fulfilled their commitments. Finland and Ireland are close to reaching their commitments.
Finland and Ireland are close to reaching their commitments. Hungary and Poland have not participated despite their legal obligation, while Austria and the Czech Republic have received less than 1 per cent of their quota.