PQ: Refugee Resettlement Programme

Tue, March 22, 2016

263. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeline for Ireland to meet its commitment to offer shelter, protection and hope to 4,000 refugees; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

264. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will guarantee that Ireland’s commitment to offer shelter to 4,000 refugees will in not be affected by any new arrangement between the European Union and Turkey; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 and 264 together.

I assume the Deputy is referring to the Government’s decision to establish the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) on 10 September 2015 as a direct response to the EU migrant crisis. Under the programme Ireland has agreed to accept 4,000 persons in total under resettlement and relocation programmes within a two year period.

The figure of 4,000 includes approximately 2,600 asylum seekers to be taken in from migration hotspots in Italy and Greece under the new EU programme and 520 programme refugees from Lebanon and Jordan, which the Irish Government has committed to taking in by the end of 2016 under Ireland’s Refugee Resettlement programme. The mechanism by which the balance of the 4,000 will be taken in, has yet to be decided by Government.

While the Government proposal is to accept all 4,000 persons within a two year period, this proposed timeframe is, to a great degree, dependant on external factors including the effectiveness of the measures put in place in migration hotspots in Greece and Italy to support the EU relocation mechanism and the rapidly changing political landscape at EU level.

It is not expected that Ireland’s commitment for a total of 4,000 refugees will be affected by the new arrangement between the European Union and Turkey although the mix of relocation and resettlement may be need to be adjusted.

Source.