Friday, March 3, 2017

EU floats new ideas to speed up return of illegal migrants

The European Commission on Thursday toughened its migration policy by floating a renewed action plan and a set of recommendations for its member states, in a bid to speed up the return of illegal migrants.

According to the action plan, the European Union (EU) would shell out 200 million euros (210 million US dollars) in 2017 to member states for their return efforts.

The EU also plans to improve information exchange to enforce return by collecting information in real time at a national level and sharing it among member states.

To prevent absconding, the EU recommended member states detain illegal migrants who have received a return decision and who show signs they will not comply.

To shore up effectiveness of return procedures and decisions, the EU advised member states to grant voluntary departure only if necessary, adding that if such a request were made, the illegal migrants should be given the shortest possible periods for departure.

"We need to give protection to those in need, but we must also return those who have no right to stay in the EU," Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, said at a press conference in Brussels.

In September 2015, the commission presented an action plan on return which included 36 concrete actions to improve the efficiency of the EU's return system.

However, the commission conceded that more resolute actions to substantially improve return rates were still needed.

Since the summer of 2015, an unprecedented refugee crisis has been a tough nut to crack for the EU, as more than one million migrants from the Middle East and North Africa fled for Europe.

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