Relocation should not be confused with resettlement. Relocation within the EU is a tool that allows for the movement of persons in need of international protection from one EU Member State to another EU Member State, where their asylum application will be processed.

It is an intra-EU process through which EU Member States help one another to cope with the pressure on their asylum systems resulting from sudden influxes by relocating persons in need of international protection. Relocation is an expression of internal EU solidarity and responsibility sharing, particularly with those countries at the external borders of the European Union that are most affected by sudden increases in the arrival of asylum seekers.

IOM provided pre-departure and movement assistance to more than 35,500 persons in need of international protection relocated from Italy and Greece to 25 EU Member and Associated States through the EU-wide emergency relocation scheme, launched in September 2015 and concluded in early 2018.

IOM believes that a future responsibility sharing mechanism as part of a reformed Dublin Regulation should be a mandatory system in which all EU Member States take part. Experience has shown that the lack of full solidarity and responsibility sharing among some of the EU States has weakened the credibility and trust that beneficiaries and the public have had in the relocation system. Full participation would strengthen such a scheme for everyone involved.

We also believe that the eligibility criteria should be broad enough to allow all categories of vulnerable persons to be included and that the matching of beneficiaries with receiving countries needs to be strengthened to reduce secondary movements. In this respect, it is also crucial to maintain family networks, especially for separated children who otherwise would find themselves relocated without a family to support them.