Access to the territory: UNHCR Serbia reported that 1,561 persons were collectively expelled from Romania to Serbia from 1 January to 31 December 2019, with higher numbers registered in the last months of the year (288 in October; 439 in November and 123 in December 2019). The number increased in comparison to 2018, when 746-persons were collectively expelled. According to the Border Police, interpretation at the border for asylum information is still lacking.
Interpretation: The availability and quality of interpretation has remained an issue. In Rădăuţi, Galati and Giurgiu, IGI-DAI still uses double interpretation from Kurdish to Arabic and from Arabic to Romanian.
Interview – Videoconferencing: In 2019, when the interpreter of certain languages was not available, interviews were conducted in most of the regional centres through videoconferencing. Generally, no complaints were recorded regarding the interview’s procedural aspects.
In one case, it was reported that a person without mandate in the procedure, was allowed to attend the interview.
Content of international protection
Integration Ordinance amended: On 10 October 2019, the Integration Ordinance No 44/2004 was amended. The main amendments concern the following areas:
Article 16: The deadline for the application to take part to the integration program was prolonged from 30 days to 3 months, as of the date international protection was granted.
Article 20: The duration of integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection is prolonged from 6 months to 12 months, with the possibility of extension for another 6 months. Article 21(2): Beneficiaries of international protection who participate in integration programmes and have no sufficient financial means, have the right to stay in Regional Centres or in other facilities managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs for a general period of 12 months (instead of 6 months), with the possibility of extension for another 6 months.
Article 22(3): Until the first payment of the non-refundable monthly financial aid, beneficiaries of international protection receive from IGI-DAI financial assistance equal to the one granted to asylum seekers, within the limits of available funds, for a maximum of 3 months (instead of 2 months).
The amendments provide for a more consistent participation of NGOs and local authorities in the integration programme.
Integration programme: In 2019, 793 beneficiaries of international protection were enrolled in the integration programme, down from 1,146 registrations in 2018. Of these, 450 started the programme in 2019 while the rest continued the one started in 2018.
Housing: A total of 114 beneficiaries of international protection were residing in the Regional Centres at the end of 2019. JRS continued the implementation of the project “A New House” in all the Regional Centres, funded through the AMIF national programme, covering partially or entirely the rental fees and/or the utility costs for beneficiaries of international protection.
In 2019, 241 beneficiaries of international protection received rental/utilities subsidies.
Cessation and review of protection status: In 2019, IGI-DAI issued 57 decisions of cessation (31 cessations of refugee status and 26 of subsidiary protection), up from the 3 issued in 2018.