EU: End of the infamous EU refugee "relocation" scheme

End of the infamous EU refugee "relocation" scheme

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments: "The states that failed to respond deserve to be named and shamed and will go down in history for their inhumanity."
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In the autumn of 2015 the EU set up a relocation scheme to move 160,000 refugees and migrants fleeing from war, persecution,poverty and climate change from front line EU states - especially from Greece and Italy - to the other 26 Member States.

Later this was reduced to 98,253: 63,302 from Greece and 34,953 from Italy to be relocated.

The scheme ended at the end of 2017 when just 21,729 had been relocated from Greece and 11,853 from Italy: The final summary was published by the Commission on 5 February 2018 (pdf) and one of the last full summaries was dated 3 November 2017 (pdf).

A number of Member States took no refugees, some a few and some met or nearly met their commitments.

Over more than two years of the scheme the following can be deduced:

Austria: "Commitment legally foreseen": 1,953 and only only 29 relocations from Italy and none from Greece.

Bulgaria: "Commitment legally foreseen": 1,252 and only 10 from Italy and 50 from Greece

Czech Republic: "Commitment legally foreseen": 2,679 and none from Italy and 12 from Greece.

Hungary: "Commitment legally foreseen": 1,294 and none from both Italy and Greece.

Poland: "Commitment legally foreseen": 6,182 and none from both Italy and Greece.

Slovakia: "Commitment legally foreseen": 886 and none from Italy and 16 from Greece.

Last and by no means least: Denmark &United Kingdom: No answers to any of the criteria.

A number of smaller states took in excess of their "Commitment legally foreseen": Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Norway.

While some larger states fell significantly short of "Commitment legally foreseen" like France 19,714 (and taking only 513 from Italy and 4,394 from Greece) and Spain committed to 9.323 (and only taking 205 from Italy and 1,124 from Greece).

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"The states that failed to respond deserve to be named and shamed and will go down in history for their inhumanity."

Greece - final report

On 9 January 2018 the Greek Ministry of Migration said in a press release: Successful Conclusion of the EU Relocation Scheme (pdf):

"21,726 asylum seekers, amongst them 6,982 men, 4,925 women and 9,819 minors, who had suffered persecution in their countries of origin and lived in insecurity, have been relocated as of today, in an organized and safe way, from Greece to other EU Member States, leaving behind years of war and suffering. Following the completion of the remaining relocations, the total number is expected to reach 22,000 beneficiaries shortly.(...)

Finland (137) and the Netherlands (81), followed by Germany (57), Spain (46) and Ireland
(38), have welcomed the largest numbers of unaccompanied minors.

Malta, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden, as well as Norway, Switzerland and Ireland are the countries, which fully abided by their obligations of receiving asylum seekers, as derived from the decisions of the European Council."

The press release fails to note that the total of 21,726 relocated refugees fell massively short of the legally foreseen commitment of 63,302.

And also fails to mention that some 50,000+ refugees still remain in Greece with no chance of relocation - and more are arriving.


Council admits the EU has failed to respond on key areas (Statewatch News, 12.10.16).

Relocation farce brings shame on Europe (Statewatch News, October 2016)

Briefing: Coercive measures or expulsion: Fingerprinting migrants (Statewatch)

Statewatch Analysis: The EU’s war against refugees: “Progress” report on Greece, January – December 2015

Statewatch Analysis: The EU at war with refugees: the origin of the “hotspots” concept

Statewatch Analysis: EU/Italy Commission requires large scale abuse of migrants for relocation to proceed

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