Who is Who in International Protection in the EU+: Authorities and Stakeholders Involved in Resettlement and Humanitarian Admissions

Resettlement means the admission following a referral from UNHCR of third-country nationals or stateless persons from a third country to which they have been displaced, to the territory of the Member States, and who are granted international protection and have access to a durable solution in accordance with Union and national laws. [1], [2]​
​​Through EU resettlement schemes, countries can make national pledges for the number of third-country nationals that they commit to admit. The aim is to better manage migration based on predictable timelines, common grounds for eligibility and rigorous security checks. ​

Complementary pathways are safe and regulated avenues that complement resettlement programmes by providing a lawful stay in a third country where international protection needs are met. Humanitarian admissions and community sponsorship programmes are diverse by nature and can benefit refugees in a variety of ways depending on their specific objectives. 

As an expression of international solidarity, these programmes involve several national and international stakeholders.  

information has been reviewed and validated in cooperation with the EUAA Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Network. ​The overview was updated by the Information and Analysis Sector on 1 March 2024

Overview of authorities and stakeholders involved in resettlement and humanitarian admissions 

This overview presents the programmes that are currently implemented in each EU+ country and maps the national authorities which are responsible for resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes and the stakeholders involved in the implementation of such programmes. 

Hover over a country and 
“click for more” to view the following information:

  • Roles and competences of national authorities and stakeholders for each stage of the procedure:
    • Identification and referral 
    • Selection
    • Pre-departure assistance
    • Travel
    • Arrival and reception
    • Integration
  • ​Leg​al basis​

  • ​List of p​rogrammes currently implemented.

 Key findings

  • 20 out of 30 EU+ countries currently implement resettlement and humanitarian admissions programmes. Community sponsorship programmes are ongoing in 7 EU+ countries.
  • UNHCR continues to play the main role in the identification and referral of refugees. Only in a few countries (Bulgaria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Romania), national authorities are also involved in this first phase of the procedure. Civil society organisations have a role in the identification and referral of possible refugees to be resettled through humanitarian corridor programmes (in Belgium, France and Italy). UNHCR is also involved in other stages of the procedure in some countries. For instance, the organisation participates in the selection process carried out by Germany. In France, Iceland and Ireland, UNHCR also supports travel arrangements. In Italy, this support is also extended to the arrival phase.
  • The role of the IOM varies depending on the agreement signed with the national authorities. IOM activities are focused on pre-departure orientation in most countries, with the exception of 6 EU+ countries where the IOM does not have a role in the preparation of refugees for their upcoming resettlement. Additionally, the IOM is responsible for travel arrangements, including paperwork and, in some cases, the provision of escorts to accompany vulnerable refugees during their travel to the country of resettlement. IOM support at arrival is limited to just 2 EU+ countries (namely Portugal and France).
  • Various national authorities are involved in the implementation of resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes. Immigration offices, asylum authorities and security services are involved in the first phase of selection. Reception authorities are responsible for the preparation of refugees for their journey, which involves the provision of pre-departure orientation programmes, assistance during travel and support upon arrival at the country of resettlement.
  • In 11 EU+ countries, receiving municipalities and regions play a key role in the implementation of resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes and the integration of resettled refugees.​
​[1] Regulation (EU) 2021/1147 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2021 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF Regulation), Article 2.8, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32021R1147&from=EN
[2] The definitions of the steps of the resettlement process are from the Share Network ​​ (European Resettlement Network and other legal pathways), accessed on 9 March 2023