• #Asylum

How can the EU contribute to the implementation of Global Compact on Refugees?

Birte Nienaber
Associate Professor - University of Luxembourg
Oesch Lucas
Postdoc - University of Luxembourg
Marta Lovison
Project manager, Researcher - Fondazione ISMU

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), adopted by the UN General Assembly on 17 December 2018, represents the international reference framework for planning and monitoring policy responses to address refugee situations in the future. The EU and its Member States are now confronted with the question of how GCR will be implemented both internally within the EU and externally with its global partners.

As our expert brief mapping the existing research in this field shows, GCR offers an important step for  durable solutions albeit its legally non-binding nature. In our expert interview, Dr. Jean-François Durieux, Prof. Geoff Gilbert and Dr. Volker Türk highlight that:

- it is necessary to expand existing resettlement programmes, by involving additional countries in global resettlement efforts and offering establishment of complementary pathways for admission in EU territory;

- various actors must get involved in the implementation of the Compact, including the private sector, local authorities, relevant international organisations, international financial institutions and academia.


Key issues and controversies further highlighted in previous ReSOMA briefs on EU’s role in implementing GCR as well as ECRE’s policy note include:

- Ambitious goals on resettlement as part of the pledging process and lack of political will among EU member states to meet them.

-Resettlement being subordinated to a migration management logic, instead of being a protection tool and expression of solidarity

- The need to ensure consistency between EU policies and the human rights and international protection at the basis of the GCR.

- The need for evidence-based independent monitoring of the GCR which cover all relevant dimensions of refugee protection.

- Involvement of the European Parliament in the reporting process on implementation, in particular on the use of EU funding for GCR goals.


This online consultation aims to discuss with national stakeholders, practitioners, policy actors and researchers the following three topics:


Topic 1: Needs for better support.

- What are the critical factors to be addressed to facilitate the implementation process of GCR? Please fill out our scoring survey.

- What do local and national actors (state actors as well as civil society, migrant and refugee organisations and private sector) need to effectively contribute to and ensure its implementation of GCR’s key objectives?


Topic 2: Policy actions to ensure that needs are addressed.

- What are the measures that have been implemented to fulfil these needs and ensure involvement of local stakeholders in your national/local context?

- What other possible measures could be implemented to fulfil these needs?


Topic 3: The role of the EU and other actors.

- What role could the EU play in fostering good practices and empowering local and national stakeholders in this process?

- Who are the other key institutions and actors that are or should be involved in the implementation of GCR in your national/local context? How can they help ensure its successful implementation?


We invite you all to share your views, experiences and examples related to implementation of GCR in your country of work/residence.


To join the discussion, please first log in to the platform in the top right corner. 


When you leave a message, please note in the subject line the topic you are responding to in order to ensure a more interactive dialogue between commentators. Ex: “Topic 3: school boards play more important role than…”

Please scroll down to read and reply to previous comments!

Catherine Woollard
12.07.2019 15:02

Topic 3: What role for the EU in the GCR?

As the political scene in Brussels changes, ECRE re-launches its recommendations to the EU on the GCR. Echoing the useful ReSoma Briefs and "Ask the expert" interviews, we belief the EU has a key role to play. Do you agree? Can you see other roles for the EU that we should lobby for? Above all, the EU should ensure that the GCR commitments are applied in Europe in addition to working with other regions on implementation. The different EU institutions can support as follows:
- As co-legislators of the next EU budget, the European Parliament and EU Member States should use EU funding for asylum and social inclusion IN Europe – not for bribing others to take on Europe’s responsibilities. Funding should also support civil society monitoring in MENA and at the EU’s borders to make sure that violations are not taking place.
- To increase participation and involvement of refugees and host communities, the European Commission, the European External Action Service and Member States should systematically involve refugee-led organisations in policy discussions – in Europe and elsewhere.
- To deliver on the EU’s commitment to support lives in dignity and self-reliance, Services in the European Commission in charge of external action and the EEAS should be responsible for developing EU relations with third countries grounded in the principles and vision set out in the EU’s Global Strategy, the Lives in Dignity Communication (and the Lisbon Treaty itself) - not using external policy to prevention migration, including that of people seeking protection.
- To ensure access to asylum in Europe and expand safe routes, the Commission and EU Member States should agree on an ambitious expansion of the EU’s resettlement commitments to be presented as a pledge at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum and significantly increase other safe and legal pathways. They must also get family reunification working.
- To support the preparation of the 2019 Global Refugee Forum and for accountability, the Commission, Member States and MEPs should develop pledges for the Forum, covering all objectives in the GCR and support involvement of civil society, particularly refugee-led organisations. They should establish a reporting process in which the EU and Member States provide updates on the progress towards their implementation of commitments. The European Parliament should be involved, in particular to support and monitor EU funding spent on GCR implementation.