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MIM working paper series 15:1 Refugee Resettlement to Europe 1950-2014

MIM Working Paper Series 15:1

Refugee Resettlement to Europe 1950-2014: An Overview of Humanitarian Politics and Practices


Arton Krasniqi,
student at Master’s programme in the field of International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) at Malmö University.

Brigitte Suter,
senior researcher and lecturer at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM), Malmö University


Published 2015

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This paper presents developments in the field of refugee resettlement from a European perspective. The paper starts out with a historical overview on refugee resettlement in the European continent since World War I and shows that Europe has historically been more of a source of refugee resettlement than a host. The paper then pays attention to the evolution of resettlement at an EU level and sheds light on factors that have contributed to its (re)prioritization in the past 15 years. Indeed, there is an increased manifestation of resettlement on the EU policy agenda, culminating in the adoption of a Joint EU Resettlement Program in 2012. However, as a policy field it has not been part of the binding harmonization process, and while the number of EU resettlement countries doubled in the past decade, the EU lags still far behind other traditional resettlement countries in terms of actual resettlement places. Finally, after shedding light on debates in the European Parliament on the matter of resettlement, the paper presents a number of essential concerns and challenges regarding the future of resettlement programs in the EU. It concludes by pointing at the difficulties of reaching any significant increase in the number of refugees resettled in the EU.  

Key words: Refugee protection, Resettlement, European Union, Durable solutions, Europe

Last updated by Angela Andersen