On Thursday, 8 May 2014, a joint motion by CDU/CSU and SPD was passed by the German Parliament calling for the European Commission to convene a pledging conference on the resettlement of Syrian refugees. The joint motion also calls for increased humanitarian aid for refugees in the region.
To date, Germany has committed to receiving 10,000 Syrians through its Humanitarian Admission Programme (HAP) while, through a scheme established by 15 German federal states, over 3,500 individual sponsorship visas have been issued to Syrians with family links in Germany.
Overall, in response to UNHCR’s call for States to make multi-annual commitments towards a goal of providing resettlement and other forms of admission for 130,000 Syrian refugees from 2013-2016, 21 countries have pledged to receive refugees on resettlement or humanitarian admission thus far. Total pledges now stand at more than 21,972 places, plus an open-ended number to the United States of America. An unprecedented majority of these pledges comes from European States. For more information, please click here.
ECRE, which together with over 100 partners in 34 countries, is currently running the Europe Act Now #HelpSyriasRefugees campaign, has come out strongly in support of the German call. ECRE's Secretary General, Michael Diedring, stated: “An increased and concerted effort from all EU Member States to ensure that more refugees fleeing the persisting conflict in Syria can reach Europe in a safe and legal manner would be a clear sign of EU solidarity with Syria’s refugees and Syria’s neighbouring countries that are bearing the brunt of this crisis. Now EU Member States must rally behind this call and unite to make meaningful commitments to resettle refugees fleeing Syria.”
ECRE's campaign calls on Europe to Act Now to #HelpSyriasRefugees by giving refugees a safe way into Europe, reuniting families torn apart by the crisis, and by protecting refugees arriving at Europe’s borders. People can encourage their governments to increase its commitment to help Syria’s refugees by signing the campaign petition.