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Seven Priorities to Expand Resettlement and Safe Pathways to Europe

Together with 37 other human rights organisations, and ahead of EU Member States submitting their pledges for the EU resettlement scheme, New Women Connectors calls on leaders to ambitiously expand safe pathways to international protection and better reflect Europe’s capacity to welcome.





Resettlement and other complementary pathways to protection offer a lifeline to people forced to flee – a way to reach safety without endangering their lives. For countries of first refuge, they represent a form of solidarity and support. While for receiving countries, they provide a structured and durable approach to welcoming people in need.


The upcoming second Global Refugee Forum in December is a crucial chance for the EU to show leadership on international protection. As negotiations on the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum continue, the essential role of safe pathways in truly sustainable and balanced asylum and migration policies must not be overlooked. That is why New Women Connectors, together with the 37 other human rights organisations, call on the EU, Member States and associated countries to fulfill these seven priorities:


1. Step up resettlement efforts to achieve the objectives set in the Third Country Solutions Road Map 2030

We call on EU Member States and the European Commission to:

  • Match the goal of 44,000 resettlement pledges in 2024 and of 48,000 in 2025. To reach this goal, resettling states have to increase their resettlement quotas, while more EU Member States must join the EU resettlement scheme.

  • Resettle at least 42,500 Afghans in need by 2026 (on top of the numbers above), as called for by UNHCR and civil society organisations since 2021.

  • Improve access to complementary pathways for protection in Europe by strengthening existing education and labour mobility programmes, which should include adequate protection safeguards and aim to offer durable solutions for refugees.


2.Invest in preparedness and ensure adequate capacity for emergency resettlement

We call on EU+ Member States and the European Commission to:

  • Ensure that the two-year cycle results in better preparedness for the implementation of quotas and not in reduced numbers overall. Emergency admissions and unallocated quotas for future needs are key aspects of this planning and should be incorporated into the two-year pledging exercise.


3. Improve the implementation of resettlement commitments

We call on EU+ Member States, the European Commission and the EU Asylum Agency (EUAA)3 to:

  • Streamline the procedures related to resettlement to support full implementation of annual committed places. Enhancing cooperation with countries of first asylum to simplify departures, exit visas, travel document requirements and medical clearances can help to improve implementation rates.

  • Improve accountability through timely and transparent communication about the progress made in executing resettlement pledges


4. Include the expertise of refugee communities in resettlement implementation

We call on EU+ Member States and the European Commission to:

  • Promote and fund strategies that involve refugees and asylum seekers in integration activities at all policy levels, including in relation to resettlement programmes.

  • Enable co-creation of hosting programmes through training and empowerment of migrant and refugee-led organisations.


5. Adopt the Union Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Framework

We call on the European Parliament and EU Member States to:

  • Finalise the adoption of the Union Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Framework and ensure its proper implementation via ambitious commitments that address today’s unprecedented global resettlement needs.

We call on the European Commission to:

  • Involve UNHCR and civil society organisations supporting resettlement and humanitarian admissions programmes in the preparation of pledging exercises and the identification of goals and priorities.


6. Invest in dignified reception systems and promote additional community-led solutions

We call on EU+ Member States, with the support of the EUAA, to:

  • Invest in long term preparedness by establishing new reception solutions. Setting up dedicated facilities specifically for resettled refugees can help to overcome the accommodation shortage.

  • Further explore and assess private hosting schemes as a way to bring more people to safety, alongside existing forms of community sponsorship. During the Ukraine response, these proved to be innovative, citizen-driven means of hosting tens of thousands of people.

We call on the European Commission to:

  • Encourage greater investment in community-based reception solutions, including when reviewing states’ national programmes under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), as well as through the resources of the AMIF Thematic Facility. Higher co-financing rates for specific types of reception could contribute to achieving this.

  • Promote multi-stakeholder exchanges and peer-learning to improve and scale up community-led solutions.


7. Defend the right to asylum for all, regardless of how people arrive in Europe

We call on the EU institutions and Member States to:

  • Firmly oppose any national developments aimed at combining increased engagement on resettlement with more stringent asylum policies affecting the rights of asylum seekers. Cooperation on resettlement with third countries should by no means be made conditional on compliance with EU migration management objectives.


To access the list of signatories, and to read the full statement, download the Joint Statement on Seven Priorities to expand resettlement and Safe Pathways to Europe below.

JS_7 priorities to expand resettlement and safe pathways to Europe_FINAL_signatories_3
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