Regional strategy

UNHCR office in Rome is the Regional Representation for Cyprusthe Holy See, ItalyMalta, Portugal, San Marino and Spain. Most of them are EU member states and are located at the external borders of the European Union, thus facing the challenge of protecting refugees within complex mixed migratory flows.

In all southern European countries, UNHCR seeks to ensure that personsseeking protection are properly identified, and have access to territories and procedures where their needs can be assessed.

Key concerns for UNHCR in Southern Europe are access to territory and to asylum procedures, legislation relating to refugee status and complementary forms of protection, the quality and consistency of asylum decisions and the integration of beneficiaries of international protection.

UNHCR works closely with the Governments in all countries in Southern Europe, primarily as regards the national asylum procedures, but also in terms of capacity building through training and providing recommendations for improvements on admission, reception and integration.

NGOs throughout the region play a crucial role in promoting effective refugee protection through advocacy and monitoring as well as direct assistance to the populations of concern to UNHCR.

UNHCR works to increase the general awareness about asylum issues in the Southern European region.

For update data, trends, statistics and reports on sea arrivals in Southern Europe, see the Refugees and Migrants Emergency Response portal.

For more information, please see also our Statistical Yearbooks, mid-year trends and asylum trends.