Resettlement involves selecting and transferring refugees from a country where they have sought protection to a third country which has previously agreed to grant them the right to permanent residence. This measure offers a solution to those who cannot return to their country of origin but can no longer benefit from sufficient protection and have no local integration prospects in the first reception country.

Belgium: complementary to asylum

Resettlement is completely complementary to the national asylum procedure. By making efforts in the area of resettlement, Belgium ensures an integrated international protection policy. On the one hand, it offers protection to asylum seekers who spontaneously arrive in our country, through the national asylum procedure.  On the other hand, through resettlement, it can also protect the world's most vulnerable refugees.

UNHCR: the search for sustainable solutions

Resettlement is one of the three sustainable solutions designed for victims of persecution, alongside return to the country of origin and integration into the host country. Firstly, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) looks at the individual refugees concerned and decides whether return to the country of origin or local integration in the first reception country (reintegration) is not a (better) solution. It is only once these two options have been excluded that resettlement is considered. These are clearly sustainable, long-term solutions whereby resettlement is the final option.

European Union: resources and a policy framework

As part of the development of the external dimension of the European asylum policy, the European Commission (EC) has been working on resettlement for several years. The European Refugee Fund provides financial resources for a wide range of resettlement initiatives in the European Union. Furthermore, in March 2012, the European Parliament adopted a joint European resettlement programme. Under this programme, the European Union defines annual priorities focusing on geographical regions or specific categories of refugees and offers additional financial incentives.

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) established in Malta and created in November 2010, aims to coordinate the efforts of Member States in terms of resettlement.