Relocation of 40 000 refugees from Greece and Italy agreed by Council

Council of the EU
  • 14/09/2015
  • 17:00
  • Press release
  • 644/15
  • Home Affairs
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
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"I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this Decision. This is an important political message...".

Jean Asselborn, President of the Council 

The Council adopted a decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece.

This decision establishes a temporary and exceptional relocation mechanism over two years from the frontline member states Italy and Greece to other member states. It will apply to persons in clear need of international protection who have arrived or are arriving on the territory of those member states as from 15 August 2015 until 16 September 2017.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President of the Council said: "I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this Decision. This is an important political message. Indeed, the first relocations of people in need of international protection can start quickly. At the same time, the "hotspots" in Italy and Greece now have the necessary legal basis to start working.  Now that the Council is discussing an additional emergency relocation proposal, it is very important to see that the first mechanism is set up and begins to produce its effects".

The representatives of the governments of the member states meeting within the Council agreed by consensus on 20 July on the distribution of 32 256 persons. They also agreed to update the figures by December 2015 with a view to reaching the overall number of 40 000 in accordance with the commitment taken at the European Council on 25-26 June 2015.  

The member states participating in the mechanism will receive a lump sum of 6 000 EUR for each relocated person. 

The special procedure for the adoption of the decision establishes that the Council will consult the European Parliament. On 9 September the European Parliament adopted its opinion.  

Denmark and the United Kingdom are not participating in this decision.