The Emergency Transit Centre in Romania

In May 2008, a unique facility was created in the western Romanian town of Timişoara. The Emergency Transit Centre (ETC), set up pursuant to a Tri-Partite Agreement concluded by the Government of Romania, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a residential facility which can host up to 200 refugees. Its raison d’être is to provide a safe place for the short-term stay of refugees who have been identified by UNHCR in other countries as being in urgent need of resettlement, but who cannot remain in those countries for resettlement processing because of acute problems including security considerations, the risk of refoulement, or serious impediments to UNHCR’s activities on their behalf. The ETC can also form a platform of practical cooperation and mutual learning among project participating EU Member States, enabling the development of coordination mechanisms in resettlement.