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Document 31995Y1007(01)

Council Resolution of 25 September 1995 on burden- sharing with regard to the admission and residence of displaced persons on a temporary basis

OL C 262, 1995 10 7, p. 1–3 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

Legal status of the document In force


Council Resolution of 25 September 1995 on burden- sharing with regard to the admission and residence of displaced persons on a temporary basis

Official Journal C 262 , 07/10/1995 P. 0001 - 0003


of 25 September 1995

on burden-sharing with regard to the admission and residence of displaced persons on a temporary basis

(95/C 262/01)


Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article K.1. thereof,

Having regard to the priority work programme adopted by the Council on 30 November 1993, which makes provision for a detailed examination of the question of burden-sharing with respect to the admission and residence of refugees in western Europe,

Having regard to the resolution on people displaced by the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, adopted by the ministers with responsibility for immigration at their meeting in London on 30 November and 1 December 1992,

Having regard to the resolution on certain common guidelines as regards the admission of particularly vulnerable groups of distressed persons from the former Yugoslavia, adopted by the ministers with responsibility for immigration at their meeting in Copenhagen on 1 and 2 June 1993,

Having regard to the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 19 January 1994 on the general principles of a European refugee policy, which emphasized the need for refugees to be distributed evenly among the various countries of the Union,

Having regard to the communication on immigration and asylum policies submitted by the Commission on 23 February 1994,

Whereas the European Council meeting in Essen on 9 and 10 December 1994 paid tribute to the readiness shown by individual Member States to admit temporarily a large number of refugees of war or civil war and called upon the Council (Justice and Home Affairs) to study the problems caused by an influx of refugees with a view to finding as soon as possible an effective arrangement for future sharing of the burden of humanitarian assistance;

Whereas the top priority in conflict situations where people are being displaced is for measures to restore peace; whereas aid to the civilian population caught up in these situations should mainly be provided on the spot, in particular by creating safe areas and security corridors and by providing humanitarian aid;

Whereas, however, the Council agrees that the Member States should, where possible, continue to give temporary refuge to people whose lives or health are under threat as a result of armed conflict or civil war in future, if there is no other way of averting danger, bearing in mind the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees principle of regionalization;

Whereas, when such a situation arises, it is desirable that the conditions for admission and residence of such persons should be arranged in a concerted fashion and in a spirit of solidarity between the Member States;

Whereas, in this regard, the Member States express their desire to share responsibility as best they can regarding the admission and residence of displaced persons on a temporary basis;

Whereas the Member States are wedded to the principle that the reaction to emergencies in countries close to the European Union should, where circumstances so permit, be as far as possible the same;

Whereas the effect which differences between Member States' arrangements for displaced persons have on the destination of migratory flows should be kept to a minimum;

Whereas it is also necessary to agree on a sufficiently precise framework which would regulate operational initiatives but be flexible enough to authorize the admission - if necessary outside the normal procedures for applying for refugee status - of persons forced to leave their countries;

Whereas Member States must ensure that the use in such cases of the emergency procedure provided for in the Council's rules of procedure (1) makes it possible to arrive rapidly at a balanced sharing of the burden in a spirit of solidarity;

Whereas Member States could also envisage the possible implementation of forms of financial compensation;

Whereas, in the case of persons who have applied to a Member State for protection under the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, this resolution must not stand in the way of the rules laid down by the Dublin Convention of 15 June 1990;

Whereas, moreover, situations of great urgency, particularly as a result of armed conflict or civil war in third countries, which confront Member States with sudden major population movements, require prompt action and the development beforehand of principles governing the admission of displaced persons; whereas it is therefore necessary to enable the Council to adopt decisions which need to be taken urgently in certain situations requiring prompt action without their being delayed in complicated procedures which have to be initiated beforehand,


1. (a) Without prejudice to paragraph 7, this resolution applies to persons whom Member States are prepared to admit on a temporary basis under appropriate conditions in the event of armed conflict or civil war, including where such persons have already left their region of origin to go to one of the Member States. The persons concerned are in particular:

- those who have been held in a prisoner-of-war or internment camp and who cannot otherwise be saved from a threat to life or limb,

- those who are injured or seriously ill and for whom medical treatment cannot be obtained locally,

- those who are, or have been, under a direct threat to life or limb and whose protection in their region of origin cannot otherwise be secured,

- those who have been subjected to sexual assault provided that there is no suitable means for assisting them in safe areas situated as close as possible to their homes,

- those who, having come directly from combat zones, are within the borders of their countries and cannot return to their homes because of the conflict and human rights abuses.

(b) This resolution does not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that he has:

- committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes,

- committed a serious non-political crime prior to being admitted by one of the Member States on a temporary basis.

2. A given situation may require harmonized action to help displaced persons when, for instance, there is a mass influx of displaced persons into the territory of the Member States or a strong probability that the Member States may soon have to cope with such an influx.

An action of this kind will be envisaged in particular, after obtaining the opinion of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, if help and adequate protection are not available in the region of origin or if the European Union is so close to the region concerned that it could itself be considered as belonging to the region of origin.

3. Some situations may require prompt action to avert a serious threat to human life. In such situations the relevant provisions laid down by the Council's Rules of Procedure for urgent cases will apply (2).

4. The Council agrees that the burden in connection with the admission and residence of displaced persons on a temporary basis in a crisis could be shared on a balanced basis in a spirit of solidarity, taking into account the following criteria (3):

- the contribution which each Member State is making to prevention or resolution of the crisis, in particular by the supply of military resources in operations and missions ordered by the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and by the measures taken by each Member State to afford local protection to people under threat or to provide humanitarian assistance,

- all economic, social and political factors which may affect the capacity of a Member State to admit an increased number of displaced persons under satisfactory conditions.

5. It is understood that the allocation of persons from the crisis regions is a matter of priority which will enable fairness to be best achieved in the interests of the persons concerned.

6. This resolution does not affect practices relating to admission on humanitarian grounds followed by individual Member States or by all Member States under bilateral or multilateral agreements.

7. The abovementioned procedure does not apply to displaced persons who were admitted to the various Member States before adoption of this resolution.

(1) OJ No L 304, 10. 12. 1993, p. 1.

(2) Articles 1 (1), 8 (1), 10 (1) and 19 (1) of the Rules of Procedure.

(3) These criteria are norms of reference that may be supplemented by further criteria in the light of specific situations.