IATE Term of the Week: Refugee Quota Refugee?


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Wednesday that EU countries are required to comply with a 2015 decision on the relocation of approximately 120,000 asylum seekers to EU countries through a quota system. This followed challenges to the 2015 ruling by Slovakia and Hungary, who objected to the compulsory assigned quota. The court was advised to dismiss these complaints by ECJ Advocate General Yves Bot in July.

Drawing of a refugee family on fence

Only 28,000 of the proposed 120,000 people have been relocated throughout Europe, though all relocations were to be completed by September 2017. Infringement procedures were launched against Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland last June for noncompliance with the 2015 decision.

Poland intervened Wednesday in favor of the challenge by Slovakia and Hungary, while Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the European Commission intervened in favor of the Council.

Due to this week’s ruling of the European Court of Justice, the term of the week is twofold – refugee quota and quota refugee.

Refugee quota refers to the actual quota that determines where refugees will be placed. A refugee quota is a limited or fixed number of refugees to be placed in a specific location that is, in this case, determined by the European Commission. This term refers explicitly to this number or quota, as opposed to the overall number of refugees.                             

IATE entry for refugee quota

Contrastingly, quota refugee is defined by IATE as a “refugee that has been or will be resettled or relocated according to a quota system,” which means that this term refers specifically to the refugee. However, IATE emphasizes that the term quota refugee must not  be confused with, or used in place of, the term resettled refugee, which denotes a refugee (primarily in the UNHCR context) who is resettled, but without necessarily being part of a quota system.

IATE entry for quota refugee

[su_note note_color=”#dcea0f”][su_button url=”http://termcoord.eu/contribute-to-iate/” style=”flat”]Contribute to IATE![/su_button] We would appreciate your contribution to update this term in your language. An IATE terminologist of the relevant language will be in charge of the validation of contributions and, thus, a delay is to be expected.[/su_note]

IATE Definition of Quota Refugee - World Map

If you wish to keep reading about this topic, we recommend previous IATE Terms of the Week on this subject:


  • Court of Justice of the European Union (2017). The Court dismisses the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the provisional mechanism for the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers. Available at: http://bit.ly/2j8bBjr (Accessed 06/09/2017)
  • Court of Justice of the European Union (2017), Advocate General Bot proposes that the Court should dismiss the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the provisional mechanism for the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers. Available at: http://bit.ly/2f8A2sD (Accessed at 06/09/2017)
  • European Commission Press Release Database (2017). Relocation: Commission launches infringement procedures against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Available at: http://bit.ly/2j9Uv4L (Accessed 06/09/2017)
  • European Parliament News (2017) ECJ ruling on refugees: no more excuses to delay transfers from Italy and Greece. Available at: http://bit.ly/2xTjZXr (Accessed 06/09/2017)
  • POLITICO (2017), Manfred Weber: Commission can’t simply dismiss Hungary. Available at: http://politi.co/2xTrAoL (Accessed at 06/09/2017)
  • Spiegel Online (2017), Ungarn und die Slowakei müssen Flüchtlinge aufnehmen. Available at: http://bit.ly/2wdG94x (Accessed at 07/09/2017)
  • BBC News (2017). Europe migrant crisis: EU court rejects quota challenge. Available at: http://bbc.in/2xaJ8yW (Accessed at 07/09/2017)
  • The Guardian (2017). EU court dismisses complaints by Hungary and Slovakia over refugee quotas. Available at: http://bit.ly/2vKOhdg (Accessed at 07/09/2017)
  • BBC News (2017). EU targets Poland, Hungary and Czechs for not taking refugees. Available at: http://bbc.in/2eLdHRk (Accessed at 07/09/2017)

Written by Flora Zempleni and Marina Parisaki. Flora is a study visitor in the communication team of the  Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She is currently enrolled in the trilingual Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. Marina is a study visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). Graduated from the European Master in Translation (EMT) in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Prepared by Pedro Ramos – Translator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).