In September 2016, the co-ordinating partners of the European Resettlement Network, IOM, ICMC and UNHCR, launched a new phase of the ERN, entitled ERN+ Developing Innovative European Models for the Protection of Refugees and Providing Support to New Resettlement Countries. The project explores complementary forms of admission for those in need of international protection and highlights the need for safe and legal ways to reach the EU. ERN+ is co-financed by the European Union under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
Building on the experience that the European Resettlement Network has gathered since 2010, the follow-up project ERN+ sought to reflect the complementarity of these pathways with existing resettlement programmes and highlight the increased need to expand the European protection landscape. Three main forms of admission were explored: private/community-based sponsorship programmes, student scholarship schemes, and humanitarian admission programmes.
Using the established structure of the ERN to communicate and inform on such pathways of admission, the project aimed to bring together national, regional and local government, international organisations, civil society, think tanks, academia and refugee diaspora. Through a series of webinars, targeted roundtables and publications on the pathways of focus, the project sought to identify the experiences and the lessons learned in order to highlight opportunities for the incorporation of complementary pathways of admission as more permanent features of international protection in Europe.