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Recasting the Return Directive

14-06-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation governing the procedures and criteria to be applied by Member States when returning irregularly staying third-country nationals, and a cornerstone of the EU return policy. Taking into account the decrease in the EU return rate (45.8 % in 2016 and 36.6 % in 2017), and following European Council and Council calls to review the 2008 legal text to enhance the effectiveness of the EU return policy, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a targeted recast of the directive aiming to 'reduce the length of return procedures, secure a better link between asylum and return procedures and ensure a more effective use of measures to prevent absconding'. In the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee discussed some 654 amendments to the proposal, tabled in February 2019 following the publication of the rapporteur's draft report. However, since the committee did not adopt a report at that time, the new Parliament will have to decide how to approach the file (with a new rapporteur). In the meantime, the Council has reached a partial general approach on the proposal. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common European Immigration Policy Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

15-04-2019

The (still to be achieved) common EU immigration policy covers legal migration; the support of Member States’ actions for the integration of third country nationals; combating irregular immigration through an effective return policy; concluding readmission agreements with third countries; and combating trafficking in human beings. Throughout the 2014-2019 legislative term and with a view to overcoming the migration crisis, Parliament as co-legislator has contributed to enhancing the legal avenues ...

The (still to be achieved) common EU immigration policy covers legal migration; the support of Member States’ actions for the integration of third country nationals; combating irregular immigration through an effective return policy; concluding readmission agreements with third countries; and combating trafficking in human beings. Throughout the 2014-2019 legislative term and with a view to overcoming the migration crisis, Parliament as co-legislator has contributed to enhancing the legal avenues to the Union and preventing irregular migration, notably through the interoperability of data bases; the strengthening of border control and effective returns; and the creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers as a decisive part of a holistic approach to migration. It has also discussed best practices on integration with national parliaments.

European Border and Coast Guard

10-04-2019

The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement to adopt a new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The text aims at reinforcing the protection of the EU's external borders, building on previous efforts of EU institutions to develop a European Integrated Border Management (EIBM) system. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the April II plenary session.

The European Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement to adopt a new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The text aims at reinforcing the protection of the EU's external borders, building on previous efforts of EU institutions to develop a European Integrated Border Management (EIBM) system. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the April II plenary session.

Revision of the Visa Code

10-04-2019

In March 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the Visa Code). The proposal's main objective is to strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns, through increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third countries. Economic considerations will also come into play, with the facilitation of visa processing for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural ...

In March 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the Visa Code). The proposal's main objective is to strengthen the common visa policy while taking into account migration and security concerns, through increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third countries. Economic considerations will also come into play, with the facilitation of visa processing for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural and social development. The agreement on the proposal, reached after trilogue negotiations, now needs to be confirmed by Parliament, with a vote expected during the April II plenary session.

Data on returns of irregular migrants

05-04-2019

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic ...

The Return Directive is the main piece of EU legislation applied to return procedures. Under this directive, Member States shall generally issue a return decision (an administrative or judicial decision imposing and obligation to leave the territory of Member States) against every third-country national (TCN) found to be irregularly present in their territory. A proposal to recast the EU Return Directive is currently being discussed within the European Parliament and the Council. This infographic aims to provide relevant data on the EU return policy.

Recast Eurodac Regulation

18-03-2019

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the EU. Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to enable law enforcement authorities too to access the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the Common European Asylum System, the European Commission proposes a recast Eurodac ...

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the EU. Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to enable law enforcement authorities too to access the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the Common European Asylum System, the European Commission proposes a recast Eurodac Regulation. The proposal is now with the co-legislators, who need to ensure that the reinforcement of the system is in compliance with the fundamental rights of migrants as well as the principles of data protection. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The migration issue

27-02-2019

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum ...

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum and migration policies based on four pillars: reducing the incentives for irregular migration by addressing its root causes, improving returns and dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks; saving lives and securing the external borders; establishing a strong EU asylum policy, and providing more legal pathways for asylum-seekers and more efficient legal channels for regular migrants. The record migratory flows to the EU witnessed during 2015 and 2016 had subsided by the end of 2017 and 2018. However, in order to deliver what the Commission calls an effective, fair and robust future EU migration policy, the EU, based on the Treaties and other legal and financial instruments, has been implementing both immediate and longer-term measures. Europe, due to its geographic position and its reputation as an example of stability, generosity and openness against a background of growing international and internal conflicts, climate change and global poverty, is likely to continue to represent an ideal refuge for asylum-seekers and migrants. This is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility and diversity of EU funding for migration and asylum policies inside as well as outside the current and future EU budget. See also the parallel Briefing on 'EU support for democracy and peace in the world', PE 628.271.

The proposed Return Directive (recast)

12-02-2019

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recasting of the 2008 Return Directive, which stipulates common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregular migrants who are non-EU nationals. Effectively returning irregular migrants is one of the key objectives of the European Union’s migration policy. However, Member States currently face challenges: national practices implementing the EU rules vary and the overall return rates remain below expectations ...

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recasting of the 2008 Return Directive, which stipulates common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregular migrants who are non-EU nationals. Effectively returning irregular migrants is one of the key objectives of the European Union’s migration policy. However, Member States currently face challenges: national practices implementing the EU rules vary and the overall return rates remain below expectations. The proposal was not accompanied by a Commission impact assessment. The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) therefore asked the European Parliamentary Research Service to provide a targeted substitute impact assessment of the proposed recast Return Directive. The assessment considers the main expected impacts of the key provisions of the Commission proposal, focusing on the social, human rights and financial impacts, as compared to the current situation (status quo). On the basis of the legal and economic studies carried out for this impact assessment, it appears that the Commission proposal for a recast Return Directive has significant legal, social, human rights and economic implications, which in principle would have deserved consideration in the context of a proper impact assessment process conducted ex-ante by the Commission.

Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants: 2018 update

21-12-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims to update the 2016 study “Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants”. It takes stock of and examines the latest developments that have taken place since 2016, specifically the legislative and policy changes, along with various forms and cases of criminalisation of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims to update the 2016 study “Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants”. It takes stock of and examines the latest developments that have taken place since 2016, specifically the legislative and policy changes, along with various forms and cases of criminalisation of humanitarian actors, migrants’ family members and basic service providers. The study uses the notion of ‘policing humanitarianism’ to describe not only cases of formal prosecution and sentencing in criminal justice procedures, but also wider dynamics of suspicion, intimidation, harassment and disciplining in five selected Member States – Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy. Policing humanitarianism negatively affects EU citizens’ rights – such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. When civil society is effectively (self-)silenced and its accountability role undermined, policies to combat migrant smuggling may be overused and give rise to serious breaches of the EU’s founding values, notably the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. Moreover, policing humanitarianism negatively affects wider societal trust and diverts the limited resources of law enforcement from investigating more serious crimes.

Külső szerző

Sergio CARRERA (scientific coordinator), CEPS and the Migration Policy Centre – European University Institute Lina VOSYLIUTE, CEPS Stephanie SMIALOWSKI, CEPS Dr Jennifer ALLSOPP, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Migration Leadership Team, London International Development Centre, SOAS University of London Gabriella SANCHEZ, Migration Policy Centre – European University Institute

Revising the Visa Information System

15-11-2018

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions ...

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions are not always clear or convincing. In addition, considering the partly highly sensitive issues at hand, such as the fingerprinting of minors, the safeguards for fundamental rights protection in cases of errors or abuse could have been better explained.

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