European Commission presents plan to accelerate migrant returns

Brussels, March 2 (IANS) The European Commission on Thursday presented a new plan of action that would accelerate the process of returning to their home countries those migrants who were not granted asylum.

The plan includes recommendations to member states on how best to achieve this goal, such as detaining people who do not show signs of obeying expulsion orders or accelerating the analysis of asylum requests to avoid system abuse, Efe news reported.

“We need to give protection to those in need, but we must also return those who have no right to stay in the European Union (EU), in full compliance with the fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement,” said Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, at a press conference.

It also suggests establishing programmes by June to assist voluntary returns and improve the coordination between authorities and services involved in the return of immigrants.

According to Avramopoulos, the plan was established in order to reduce the pressure on the asylum request system, assure there are enough resources to protect those who most need it and send a strong signal against the idea of making dangerous journeys to the EU.

He insisted that all points on the plan were fully within EU legislation and respected fundamental rights.

“We need to equip our migration policy to better deal with those who don’t come for humanitarian reasons, so they too can come in a legal and regular way, whether it’s for work, family or study,” he added.

In order to help countries with returns, the Commission is considering, among other things, increasing financial support to member states with 200 million euros ($210 million) in 2017 for national efforts as well as for joint return or reintegration activities at a European level.

The EC also seeks to overcome the challenges of returned migrants in their countries by working to conclude negotiations on re-admission agreements with Nigeria, Tunisia and Jordan soon, and to create similar deals with Morocco and Algeria in this regard.

–IANS

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