EU says it will take in slightly more refugees from third countries

EU says it will take in slightly more refugees from third countries
EU says it will take in slightly more refugees from third countries

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson gives a press conference in Brussels January 19, 2023. — Reuters pic

GENEVA, Dec 14 — A senior European Union official said today the bloc will in 2024-25 allow in more than 60,000 of the most vulnerable refugees, a slight increase from previous years, and rebuffed criticism that it is more welcoming to Ukrainians than others.

Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, said at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva that some 61,000 places for resettlement and humanitarian admission would be granted.

Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another state. Some wealthy countries, including non-EU member Switzerland, have temporarily suspended such admissions, citing pressure on their asylum systems.


“I am happy to announce that for 2024 and 2025 I have from 14 Member States pledges for resettlement and humanitarian admission (for) more than 60,000 actually almost 61,000 people,” she told reporters.

“That means that we are at the same level or a little bit higher than within the previous years so we are not decreasing.”

She did not identify the countries.


For 2023, some 17 EU countries made resettlement pledges, with Germany, France and Spain being the three most generous countries, according to an EU document.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told Reuters before the forum that many Western politicians were becoming less welcoming in the face of an influx of refugees and urged them to do more.

The EU is also giving protection to over 4 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Asked by a journalist if the EU was favouring Ukrainian refugees over those from other countries, Johansson said: “We are not stepping down on resettlement, actually a little bit stepping up on resettlement. So it’s not true. It’s not either-or, it’s both.” — Reuters

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