The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has published a set of recommendations for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), whose term runs January through June 2019. Among its list of suggestions, it urges for a "stronger and fairer response for refugees" and updates to the Dublin regulation.
The UNHCR Regional Representative for EU Affairs, Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, called on Romania "to use its upcoming Presidency to mobilize the EU around the stronger and fairer response for forcibly displaced people."
"This includes demonstrating solidarity across the EU for refugees and countries hosting them," he stressed. The UNHCR also said in a statement that it is urging the Romanian Presidency "to engage outside the EU to expand protection globally."
"This includes encouraging States to be prepared for refugee movements and to establish and strengthen relevant asylum institutions and procedures. Increased legal pathways, including by reuniting families, so people do not have to resort to smugglers and dangerous journeys to seek safety, are also vital in ensuring protection for refugees globally is robust," the statement said.
The recommendations came just ahead of the beginning of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, starting January 2019.
Calls for reforms on Dublin regulation
Among the main recommendations issued is the need for ensuring a fair, effective and well-managed asylum system. The document highlighted in particular a reform of the Dublin regulation, saying that in future it should contain an effective relocation mechanism to support those EU member states which receive a disproportionate number of asylum claims.
Until such a mechanism is in place, the UNHCR encourages ad-hoc arrangements to share the burden among EU member states.