Nine refugees relocated to Norway

360 persons who where granted asylum in Malta are being relocated to other EU Members States and Associated countries within the framework of the extension of the EUREMA project.

A further 227 persons were relocated in 2010 when EUREMA was launched.
A further 227 persons were relocated in 2010 when EUREMA was launched.

Three adults and two families left Malta earlier this afternoon to start a new life in Norway, as part of the European Union's Reallocation Project for Malta (EUREMA) which was extended.

The departure was financed by the Norwegian authorities.

The nine migrants were part of a group of 31 persons who were already identified by the Norwegian authorities for relocation following a selection mission to Malta held towards the end of last year.

Today's departure follows that of two other groups that took place last January and February.

Government said that the Norwegian authorities will be assisting the beneficiaries to integrate in their society, a process which was initiated in the past weeks in advance of their departure from Malta.

The other 10 persons will be departing to Norway in the coming weeks.

Although not a member of the European Union, Norway is taking part in EUREMA following a commitment made at the Ministerial pledging conference organised by the European Commission in May 2011 for Member States and Associated countries to assist countries receiving large numbers of asylum seekers.

Other European countries have also committed to relocate beneficiaries of international protection from Malta, in the context of the extension of the EUREMA pilot project, or on a bilateral basis.

These include Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands. A relocation exercise to Germany within the EUREMA framework took place last November, and another to Ireland took place in December.

Seeing off the beneficiaries of international protection, Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, thanked the Norwegian government for taking part in this project. He said that 360 persons who where granted asylum in Malta are being relocated to other EU Members States and Associated countries within the framework of the extension of the EUREMA project.

A further 227 persons had been relocated in 2010 when EUREMA was launched.

"EUREMA is an example of EU solidarity in action in the field of migration. The conclusions of last week's Home Affairs Council held in Brussels reaffirmed the EU's commitment to strengthen this principle especially in situations where particular pressures on asylum systems exist," Mifsud Bonnici said.

He said the ministers of the 27 members agreed the EU should express such solidarity through preventive cooperation, support in emergency situations, financial means, the return of those who are illegally staying in a Member State, co-operation with key countries of transit and origin and the relocation of beneficiaries of international protection - which is exactly what we are witnessing today.

 "I welcome the heavier involvement of the European Asylum Support Office in this project and look forward to seeing the outcome of the evaluation of EUREMA which will be undertaken in the coming months," he said.

Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office Robert Visser, said that EASO will support the European Commission in the evaluation of EUREMA in the coming months.

 

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