Recognising the need for new approaches to address global displacement and the few opportunities available for refugee resettlement, the European Resettlement and SHARE Networks have broadened their scope of activities to include research on complementary pathways of admission for refugees to Europe. This has led to the publication of a series of research studies, Scoping Papers and feasibility/policy studies, both within the framework of the SHARE Network and the ERN+ Project “Developing Innovative European Models for the Protection of Refugees and Providing Support to New Resettlement Countries”.


In 2019,  in the framework of the SHARE Network, ICMC Europe and Caritas Europe published a joint research study  on the growth of community sponsorship programmes in Europe. Based on the outcomes of the SHARE Community Sponsorship Working Group, the report examines a number of critical questions for the future of community sponsorship:

How are sponsorship schemes creating additional safe and legal pathways of admission for refugees?

What practical arrangements and partnership frameworks are needed for quality control that enables the wellbeing of sponsored refugees?

To what extent are sponsorship schemes enhancing social inclusion?

The report answers these questions and more! Click here to read the full report in English, and here for the full report in French (Encourager les parrainages communautaires à travers l'Europe).

The Scoping Papers

The Scoping Papers aim to further investigate the potential for the development of complementary pathways of refugee admission to the EU, a field so far little explored, and to inform and guide relevant discussions with a variety of stakeholders. They analyse examples of existing programmes for the admission of refugees in Europe and elsewhere, presenting commonalities and specificities, as well as attempting to define success factors and challenges in the design and implementation of such initiatives. 

Private Sponsorship in Europe - Expanding complementary pathways for refugee resettlement

Humanitarian Admission Programmes in Europe - Expanding complementary pathways of admission for persons in need of international protection

Student Scholarships for Refugees: Expanding complementary pathways of admission to Europe

The most recent studies build on the scoping exercise of existing practice and key considerations to provide insight into the feasibility of developing the three complementary pathways. The Private Sponsorship takes the French context to explore the potential for establishing more sustainable private sponsorship programmes in France, with some general observations for other European States. The Humanitarian Admission paper explores the main components and offers commentary on the various important considerations for Humanitarian Admission of Humanitarian Admission Programmes in Europe. The Higher Education Scholarships paper offers a reference tool for interested stakeholders to expand and strengthen existing programmes and, in particular, to establish new programmes. The paper includes a short case study on one EU Member State.

Feasibility and Policy Research 

Private Sponsorship Feasibility Study - Towards a Private Sponsorship Model in France

Une version de l'étude en français est aussi disponible: Etude de faisabilité sur le développement du parrainage privé en France

Humanitarian Admission Programmes - Expanding and Increasing Pathways to Protection

Higher Education Scholarships for Refugees: A reference framework for expanding protection and solutions opportunities through complementary pathways of admission to Europe

The final study in the series takes a strategic look at the complementary pathways examined in the ERN+ project, and is informed by the six studies on each pathway. It explores the need for complementary pathways and the contribution such programmes can make to the international protection regime, and to refugee protection in Europe. The paper highlights key policy considerations for the development of complementary pathways in general, while also identifying important similarities and differences in the pathways studied in the ERN+ project. Recommendations are put forward to expanding complementary pathways to Europe for refugees.

Strategic Assessment and Recommendations

Expanding Solutions for Refugees: Complementary Pathways of Admission to Europe