Forms and levels of material reception conditions

Romania

Country Report: Forms and levels of material reception conditions Last updated: 30/04/21

Author

Felicia Nica with support from JRS Romania Visit Website

Reception conditions consist of:

  • Accommodation in one of the reception centres;
  • Financial allowance for food and clothing;
  • And pocket money.

Allowance for food / clothing and pocket money

Asylum seekers are entitled to receive, upon request, the following allowances:[1]

  • Food daily allowance of 10 RON / €2.08per person;
  • Clothing one-off allowance of 67 RON / €13.95per person during summer and 100 RON / €20.83per person during winter;
  • Pocket money of 6 RON / €1.25per day per person for other expenses such as local transport expenses, cultural services, press, repair and maintenance services and personal hygiene products expenses.

Monthly amounts of financial allowances for different categories of applicants are as follows:

Monthly amount of financial allowances for asylum seekers
Category Amount of allowances
Single adults 480 RON / €104
Pregnant women in months 1-4

Ill persons upon admission to infirmary

570 RON / €123
Pregnant women in months 5-9

Women giving birth who do not breastfeed

600 RON / €130
Women giving birth who breastfeed

Children aged 0-5 months

630 RON / €136
Children aged 6-12 months 690 RON / €150

Before the 2015 reform, asylum seekers were granted a financial allowance of 3.6 RON per day, amounting to a monthly total of 108 RON/€23. In general, the financial allowance is sufficient to ensure a decent living. In cases of families, all members are entitled to receive the financial allowance. The only persons who have complained about the amount of the financial allowance are single men.

In comparison, Romanian nationals with low income benefit from social assistance,[2] heating assistance[3] and a family allowance.[4] Romanian nationals – families and single persons – are entitled to a minimum guaranteed income as a form of social assistance.[5] The monthly minimum guaranteed income is determined based on the social reference indicator (indicator social de referinta, ISR) set by law at 500 RON / €100.The minimum guaranteed income level is as follows:

Monthly amount of minimum guaranteed income
Category Percentage ISR Amount
Single adults 28.3% 142 RON / €30
Family of two 51% 255 RON / €55
Family of three 71.4% 357 RON / €77
Family of four 88.4% 442 RON/ €96
Family of five 105.4% 527 RON / €114
Family of six or more, for each family member 7.3% 36.5 RON / €7

In addition, the State affords an allowance for all children, including nationals and non-nationals, up to the age of 18.[6] This type of financial allowance is complementary to other forms of material support afforded by the State. The level of the state child allowance is determined by the ISR and amounts to:[7]

  • 200 RON / €43 for children up to the age of 2, or 3 in case of a disabled child;
  • 84 RON / €18 for children between the age 2 and 18;
  • 200 RON / €43 for disabled children between the age of 3 and 18.

Even though a comparison between financial assistance granted to nationals and asylum seekers is difficult to make due to the diversity of available allowances and the applicable calculation modes, asylum seekers are not treated less favourably than nationals as far as material support is concerned. They also benefit from other financial allowances than the ones provided by the Asylum Act, such as the allowance for children and they are also entitled to receive social assistance under the conditions provided by Act 292/2011 on Social Assistance, as amended.[8]

 

Accommodation allowance where reception capacity is exceeded

A new form of reception conditions was included by the 2015 reform. When the capacity in the reception centres for asylum seekers is exceeded, IGI-DAI may grant asylum seekers an accommodation allowance for the purpose of renting a house or contracting specialised services for the reception and accommodation of asylum seekers in individual or collective locations, within the limits of the available funds.[9] This form of reception conditions has never been applied to date.

In these situations, IGI-DAI may provide, upon request, material assistance amounting to the following monthly sums per person: rental assistance of 450 RON; and maintenance assistance of 120 RON during the summer season and 155 RON during the winter season. In the case of a two-member household, the monthly amount paid to a person for rental decreases by 30%. In the case of households consisting of three or more members, the amount granted monthly to a person for rental decreases by 40%.[10]

This material assistance shall be granted in the first month after the filing of the application, without the need for the submission of supporting documents for the rental. However, for the second month the submission of these documents is mandatory. If the requested documents are not submitted by the second month, the grant is suspended.

Reimbursement of expenses related to travel

Asylum seekers also have the right to reimbursement, upon request, of transport costs associated with their court proceedings, if the judicial process takes place in a different area than the one where they are residing, and if transport is carried out by road, rail or ferry.[11]

The reimbursement of transport expenses is made on the basis of a request filed by the asylum seeker, together with travel tickets, filed within 5 working days from the date of the court hearing at the Regional Centre where the asylum seeker is accommodated. The reimbursement is made after checks have been carried out in order to certify the presence of the asylum seeker in court.[12]

The Asylum Decree refers particularly to asylum seekers accommodated in Şomcuta Mare and Rădăuţi, since the competent courts for onward appeals (see Regular Procedure: Appeal) are located in a different city than the one were the Regional Centres are located; respectively Baia-Mare and Suceava. The policy of reimbursement is applied in practice. No requests for reimbursement of transport costs were made in Şomcuta Mare in 2019, however, as there is only one transport operator per day, asylum seekers prefer carpooling.

In Şomcuta Mare, asylum seekers were taken by car by IGI-DAI to court hearings until December 2020.

In Rădăuţi asylum seekers were taken by car by IGI-DAI to court hearings until August 2020.

IGI-DAI may also involve asylum seekers in activities related to the maintenance or redevelopment of the interior and exterior spaces of Regional Centres, or support to the centre staff in information and counselling activities.[13] Asylum seekers who perform this kind of activity benefit from an additional allowance for food of 5 RON / €1.08 per day.[14]

 

In Timișoara, and Galaţi no cases were reported. In Şomcuta Mare there were asylum seekers who provided their services but the JRS representative was not aware if they received the financial allowance. In Rădăuţi it was reported that around 10 asylum seekers received this additional allowance. There were asylum seekers who received the additional allowance because they helped cleaning the centre.

Material and financial assistance from NGOs

In addition to the material reception conditions afforded by IGI-DAI, asylum seekers also benefit from material assistance provided by AIDRom through the project “Assistance and services for asylum seekers in Romania” funded by the AMIF national programme implemented between 13 August 2019 and 12 Agust 2020.[15]A new project started on 29 September 2020 “A.C.A.S.A. – Complex Social Assistance for Asylum Seekers”.[16]The project is implemented over a period of 27 months. AIDRom provides material assistance to asylum seekers accommodated in all Regional Centres, in the 2 Accommodation and Counselling Centres run by AIDRom in Bucharest and Timișoara, and also for asylum seekers detained in public custody.

The number of social vouchers granted through the new project by AIDRom to asylum seekers continued to decrease compared to the previous implemented projects. Within the project, ‘A.C.A.S.A-. Complex Social Assistance for Asylum Seekers’, the assistance offered by AIDRom consists of:

  1. Financial assistance for translation of civil status documents and/or diplomas, as well as legalisation / authentication / apostilles of approximately 45 pages of documents (instead of 50 in 2019 and 60 in 2018)
  2. 385 packages of food for asylum seekers transferred between Regional Centres or transferred from the place where the asylum application was made to the Regional Centre (instead of 600 prescribed in the previous project);
  3. 135 social vouchers for vulnerable asylum seekers (100 in the previous project) ;
  4. 300 food packages / social vouchers for asylum seekers accommodated in Regional Centres and AIDRom Centres, or detained in specially designed closed spaces or in detention centres.
  5. 350 installation packages for persons accommodated in AIDRom Centres and in Regional Centres at the time of filing the asylum application.
  6. Support for ensuring food in situations similar to that created by COVID 19, for people accommodated in regional centers, which are in isolation and / or quarantine, for a number of 50 beneficiaries;
  7. Direct material assistance for asylum seekers accommodated in public custody centers: food, personal hygiene products, clothing / footwear, as well as goods for cultural and recreational activities

Between August 2019 and August 2020, 1,318 asylum seekers received food packages when they were transferred (600 packages indicated in the project) and 591 asylum seekers received installation packages (300 packages indicated in the project). These were supplemented from budgeted amounts and donations.[17] Between September and December 2020 216 asylum seekers benefited from installation packages, out of 350 provided by the project.[18]

AIDrom reported that due to the influx of asylum seekers, the indicators set out by IGI-DAI are not sufficient, for example the indicator for transfer packages has been exceeded, from 385 to 1,000 packages in just a few months.[19]

 

 

 

[1]        Article 55(1) Asylum Decree.

[2]        Act 416/2001 on Minimum Guaranteed Income, available at: http://bit.ly/2AWyH00.

[3]        Emergency Government Ordinance 70/2011 on social protection measures during the cold season, available at: http://bit.ly/2mtUk2t.

[4]        Act 277/2010 on Family Allowance, available at: http://bit.ly/2FvzrN3.

[5]        Article 1(1)-(2) Act 416/2001 on Minimum Guaranteed Income.

[6]        Article 1 Act 61/1993 on the State Child Allowance.

[7]        Article 3 Act 61/1993 on the State Child Allowance.

[8]        Article 17(1)(n^1) Asylum Act.

[9]        Article 17(8) Asylum Act.

[10]       Article 55(4) Asylum Decree.

[11]       Article 17(1)(q) Asylum Act.

[12]       Article 56(2^1) Asylum Decree.

[13]       Article 55(9) Asylum Decree.

[14]       Article 55(10) Asylum Decree.

[15]       The project, currently in its second phase, is implemented by AIDRom in partnership with CNRR, from 7 July 2017 to 6 July 2018. For more details, see: http://www.aidrom.ro/proiecte/asistenta-solicitanti-de-azil/.

[16]       Information provided by AIDrom, 4 March 2021.

[17]       Information provided by AIDrom, 4 March 2021.

[18]       Ibid.

[19]       Ibid.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation