Romania to resettle its first refugees

Romania will welcome 1,705 refugees this year. [Freedom House/Flickr]

Romania’s Immigration Office (IGI) announced yesterday (23 February) that the country will receive a total of 6,205 refugees over the next two years, with the first wave expected early next month. EURACTIV Romania reports.

Under the refugee resettlement mechanism, which aims to redistribute people from Greece and Italy to the other member states and which was adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council by a qualified majority, Romania will receive 6,205 refugees. Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Romania all voted against the proposal, while Finland abstained.

The number of refugees will cover a period of two years, namely 2016 and 2017. This year, Romania will receive 1,705 refugees. The IGI has requested that Italy send 190 refugees from its hotspots, and Greece 125. The 315 refugees will be the first wave of relocations to the Eastern European country.

Only 3% of Italy and Greece's migrants sent back or settled last year

Only 3% of the more than a million migrants arriving in Italy and Greece in 2015 were returned to their countries of origin or relocated across the EU as refugees,  figures released by the European Commission today (10 February) revealed.

The first 11 are scheduled to arrive on 3 March in the eastern city of Galați, near the border with Moldova.

During a debate held at the European Commission’s Representation in Bucharest, the IGI gave no indications as to the nationality or country of origin of the arrivals.

Georgiana Chirilă, a representative from the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), attended the event and said that the alert level is currently “cautious” (blue) and that the service is cooperating with all the institutions that are involved in refugee resettlement.

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