Commission looks to boost returns of irregular migrants

Brussels, Jan 24 (EFE).- The European Commission on Tuesday presented a new strategy to boost the number of irregular migrants being returned to their country of origin and streamline the process

The EU’s statistical office Eurostat reported that 21% of over 340,500 return orders were carried out in 2021.

“Those that are not eligible to stay in the EU have to be returned to the country of origin, this is the way to protect the asylum system, those that are in need of intl protection should be welcomed and given the protection,” home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson told a press conference Tuesday.

“Every year there are around 300,000 return decisions in EU member states but only around 70,000 are being returned (…) this is now what needs to be increased.”

The Swedish politician said Frontex, the EU’s border and coastguard agency, had detected a surge of 100,000 irregular migrant arrivals last year, bringing the total to more than 330,000.

Asylum requests in EU territory almost doubled last year to 924,000, she said, adding that the majority were filed in Germany, France, Spain and Austria.

The Commission said in its proposal that it sought to “streamline and optimize the return process in full compliance with fundamental rights including protection of personal data,” boost the number of voluntary returns, and increase collaboration between member states.

Brussels will present its new initiative to the bloc’s interior ministers at an informal meeting this week. EFE


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