After the Pledging Conference on Relocation and Resettlement which was held by Commissioner Malmström in the margins of yesterday’s JHA Council meeting, it has been announced that at least ten EU member states (news reports have identified different countries – Germany, Romania, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Denmark, Slovakia, and Luxembourg have been mentioned) as well several non-EU MS (news reports have mentioned Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and Norway), have agreed to resettle 323 asylum seekers who are currently in Malta. Germany will reportedly resettle 100 migrants. Most of the other resettlement pledges are for small token numbers. There are over 2500 asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international protection, and migrants currently in Malta.
The Commission will provide funding for the extension of the pilot project of relocation from Malta, as well as for resettlement directly from North Africa, undertaken on a voluntary basis by MS. Funding for the project has previously been provided through the European Refugee Fund. The pledging conference that was held yesterday was reportedly the first such conference held since the Maltese pilot project known as European Relocation Malta (Eurema) began in July 2009. The project was scheduled to end this year but has been extended for at least one more year given the current situation in Libya.