The UN refugee agency UNHCR has published a series of "ambitious but achievable" recommendations for the Croatian and German presidencies of the EU Council to make 2020 "the year of change for robust refugee protection," according to a statement published on January 9.
The UN agency said the recommendations would provide a common and workable asylum system within the EU through sustainable reform and revitalize financial support for host countries.
A reform of the asylum system, revitalized financial support for host countries and more help for the countries receiving a disproportionate amount of asylum applications are among the recommendations made by UN refugee agency UNHCR to the EU to make 2020 "the year of change for robust refugee protection."
The UNHCR called for progress on sustainable asylum reform and more support for the countries taking in refugees. In particular, the agency said "fair and fast asylum procedures need to be established to quickly determine who needs international protection and who does not. People eligible for protection should be granted that status quickly and receive support for integration; those not eligible for any form of protection should be helped to return," read the statement.
The UNHCR urged the EU to promote an effective mechanism of solidarity through reallocation agreements, prioritizing family unity.
Support for EU presidencies
Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR's regional representative for EU affairs, said the past decade was "one of displacement," stressing that the new one needs to be "one of solutions, starting right now in 2020."
Vargas Llosa added, "by supporting large refugee hosting countries outside Europe, the EU can also help refugees thrive and not just survive."
The UNHCR urged the EU presidencies to ensure more significant and diversified funding, including aid for development, in order to better support host countries and help refugees rebuild their lives.The UN agency said it is ready to support the Croatian presidency, the German presidency, the EU as a whole as well as individual member States to strengthen solidarity towards refugees and the countries hosting them, in the EU and around the world.