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

Legal and administrative framework

Spain

The Law regulating the right to asylum and subsidiary protection (12/2009) makes specific reference to resettlement programmes. The Royal Decree (203/1995) makes reference to requests received from the UNHCR representative in Spain to urgently admit refugees, who are in a situation of high risk in a third country. Two Decisions by the Council of Ministers approve resettlement programmes for 2010 and 2011. To date, however, these programmes have not been officially published.

Laws

* Law on the right to asylum and subsidiary protection (12/2009)

Abstract

This Law dated 30 October 2009 replaced the previous asylum law, which had been in place since 1984 and did not make any reference to resettlement. In 2010 and 2011, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of resettlement programmes.

The law makes specific reference to resettlement programmes in the First Additional Provision (unofficial translation):

"The protection framework envisaged under the present law shall apply to persons who gain entry to Spain through resettlement programmes developed by the Government, in conjunction with the UNHCR and in some cases, other relevant international organisations. The Council of Ministers, upon receiving proposals from the Minister of the Interior and the Minister for Employment and Immigration, and following consultation with the Inter-ministerial Commission for Asylum and Refugees (CIAR), will agree on a number of persons to be resettled in Spain each year. Refugees who are resettled in Spain will have the same status as refugees who are recognised as such under the provisions of this Law."

Further to this, Spain responded to the UNHCR Global Resettlement Solidarity Initiative which requested more pledges from States to resettle refugees. In July 2013, eighty refugees (of Eritrean, Somali and Sudanese origins) arrived in Madrid for resettlement on the basis of the 2009 asylum law reform.

Files attached to this content:

Law regulating the right to asylum and subsidiary protection (12/2009) in Spanish

UNHCR agreements

* Agreement between Spain and UNHCR (2002)

Abstract

The Agreement was signed on 9 December 2002 and was applied provisionally from the date of signature. In this agreement, the Spanish Government shows its support for UNHCR programmes and activities. No specific reference is made to resettlement.

Files attached to this content:

Agreement between Spain and UNHCR (2002) in Spanish

Decisions

* Royal Decree (203/1995)

Abstract

The Royal Decree is dated 10 February 1995. Article 4.2. makes specific reference to requests received from the UNHCR representative in Spain to the Spanish Government to urgently admit refugees recognised under its mandate, who are in a situation of high risk in a third country.

Files attached to this content:

Royal Decree (203/1995) in Spanish

* Decision by Council of Ministers approving the resettlement programme 2010 (2010)

Abstract

In this Decision, dated 29 January 2010, the Council of Ministers approves the Refugee Resettlement Programme for 2010. It also authorises the resettlement of up to 75 refugees in 2010. The Decision is available in Spanish at:

http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/consejodeministros/referencias/_2010/refc20100129.htm#Refugiados

* Decision by Council of Ministers approving the resettlement programme 2011 (2011)

Abstract

In this decision, dated 7 October 2011, the Council of Ministers approves the Refugee Resettlement Programme for 2011 following a joint proposal from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Immigration. It also authorises the resettlement of up to 100 refugees in 2011. The decision is available in Spanish at:

http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/ConsejodeMinistros/Referencias/_2011/refc20111007.htm#Reasentamiento

Spain snapshot

Size: 504,782 km2

Population: 45.8 million

Year of EU Entry: 1986

In the Schengen Area: Yes

Protection Status Granted: 988 (2011)

Resettlement Scheme: Programme to be implemented in 2013-2014

Resettlement Quota: 30 refugees/year

Resettled Refugees: 80 (2012)

Source: The information about the size, population, in the Schengen area, and year of EU entry is taken from europa.eu.