ECFR – The displacement dilemma: Should Europe help Syrian refugees return home?

March 2019

Summary

  • European governments must decide when and how to protect Syrian refugees who are voluntarily returning home
  • They should do so using their remaining levers of influence in Syria, in line with European interests and UNHCR protection parameters.
  • European engagement on voluntary refugee returns should be limited, cautious, and conditional.
  • Europe must work with Middle Eastern host countries to prevent forced refugee returns.
  • European governments must talk to all relevant stakeholders in the Syrian conflict, particularly Russia.

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