In line with the commitments acquired through the European Agenda on Migration of May 2015, the European Commission proposed the redistribution of 160,000 people seeking international protection, currently located in countries such as Italy and Greece, of which Spain would need to take more than 17,000 over two years.

The State has enabled three organizations to manage their reception: Accem, la Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR), which in Catalonia operates under the name Catalan Commission for Refugee Aid (CCAR), and the Red Cross.

People seeking international protection have the right to receive financial assistance to cover their basic needs for a period from between six months up to a maximum of 24 months, at different levels.

In Catalonia, the initial reception (up to 6 months) can be in accommodation rented by the three organizations through the private or social housing market or at specific centres.

In these places –managed by the three organizations and/or collaborating humanitarian organizations– multi-disciplinary teams (psychologists, social workers, healthcare staff, legal personnel, translators, mediators, etc.) draw up a dynamic profile of the family, person or group, so that, by mutual agreement and taking into account the available resources, it can be decided where in Catalonia they can stay.


The Catalan Government, in collaboration with local authorities, offers the First Reception Service which includes training initiatives and information with the aim of fostering empowerment and personal autonomy. The comprehensive training offered by this service is a tool aimed at putting its users on an equal footing with the rest of Catalan society when it comes to looking for work and developing strategies to improve their professional skills. The actions included as part of the First Reception Service are the following:

  • Acquire a basic level of competence in Catalan and Spanish of between levels A1 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Acquire basic knowledge of labour rights and responsibilities in order to be fully effective, both for job market and developing in the workplace and in a professional career.
  • Acquire basic practical knowledge about Catalan society and its legal framework.

First Reception Service