Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

The Know Reset Project

- Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

The Know-Reset project is part of the Migration Policy Centre (MPC), which conducts advanced research on global migration to serve migration governance needs at the European level, from developing, implementing and monitoring migration-related policies to assessing their impact on the wider economy and society.

The Project is co-funded by the European Union DG Home Affairs in the framework of the European Refugee Fund Community Actions 2010. It is carried out by the EUI (European University Institute), in partnership with ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Brussels).


The general objective of the project is to construct the knowledge-basis for better policy-making in the domain of resettlement, both at EU level and in the 27 Member States. Know Reset aims at providing a comparative analysis of resettlement in the EU Member States, evaluating their resettlement capacity while providing policy recommendations to the EU and its Member States. The target audiences are policy-makers, public institutions, public opinion and media, and non-governmental stakeholders in the EU and in countries of first asylum.


The EUI and the ECRE rely on large networks of academic and civil-society expertise. For this particular project, the EUI has engaged 20 scholars, who have carried out research in the 27 EU countries, as well as national experts from countries of first asylum (Tunisia, Pakistan, Kenya). The ECRE alliance – which has significant experience in the field of resettlement - has conducted a comparative analysis of resettlement practices through its National Contact Points in 16 EU Member States. The project team has mapped and compared the legal and policy frameworks, as well as actual practices related to resettlement.


The project has resulted in a comprehensive information set covering all EU Member States. Moreover, to get a full picture of resettlement practices, our experts have carried out field surveys in three countries of first asylum: Kenya, Tunisia and Pakistan. The website is a key tool for raising awareness about resettlement and for a better understanding of its motives and challenges. Know Reset also explores the potential for developing resettlement capacity, extending good practices and enhancing cooperation in the EU. It makes recommendations for more concerted involvement in resettlement and sustainable commitment to sharing responsibility for refugee protection.


Why does the Project cover the 27 EU Member States?

Resettlement-related projects focus on a limited number of EU resettlement countries but we have looked at all Member States. Analysing all EU-27 States is a key contribution to the understanding of resettlement: such a comprehensive country analysis has never been accomplished before.

We believe that mapping resettlement frameworks and practices implies covering all states that are involved in resettlement in one form or another, and to various degrees. Indeed, some EU Member States do not have resettlement programmes, but have resettled on an ad hoc basis, in response to a specific refugee crisis and/or to UNHCR's calls. Besides, some EU Member States do not currently resettle, but have taken (legal, political and practical) steps to do so in the future.

There is a great diversity in terms of commitment towards resettlement in the EU and a series of recent evolutions. This is a snapshot of the situation today:

  • The majority of EU Member States have been involved in resettlement to one extent or another,
  • Very few of them have a long tradition of resettlement,
  • Some countries that seemed tied to an ad hoc approach have recently opted for a programme,
  • Other countries, which had pledged to resettle, could not meet their commitment,
  • Most of the 'new' Eastern Member States have decided to participate in resettlement. Some of them have actually implemented it, while others have stepped back,
  • Only six Member States have had no involvement in resettlement.

For further details, click here to see the EU-27 commitment to resettlement on a map (on our homepage).

Evaluating the potential to develop and improve refugee resettlement in the EU implies addressing the whole range of national attitudes towards resettlement, as well as their variations in time and in space. It relies on a broad understanding of resettlement capacity, which is based on financial and material means, but which is also matter of political will, legal framework, social context, civil society, and a series of country-specific determinants, that have been examined by Know Reset.