The European Commission recently released a renewed European Union (EU) Action Plan on Return, setting forth measures and recommendations for member states to follow to improve return procedures.
"We are working hard on partnerships
with countries of origin and transit,” First Vice President Frans Timmermans said in an announcement. “In
order for this to be successful, it is now also time to improve our internal
procedures and make sure that all persons who do not need international
protection are returned humanely and swiftly."
Following the Malta Summit in early February, during which leaders from member states highlighted problems in the EU’s return policy, the new procedures
are intended to close loopholes and apply existing rules more rigorously. Some
of the recommendations to member stats include improved internal and external
coordination, eliminating abuses in the system and preventing absconding.
Furthermore, the union has proposed increased financial support for member states
and increased information exchanges.
“Ensuring that irregular migrants are
returned swiftly will not only take pressure off the asylum systems in member
states and ensure appropriate capacity to protect those who are genuinely in
need of protection, it will also be a strong signal against taking dangerous
irregular journeys to the EU in the first place,”
Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for migration, home affairs
and citizenship, said. “With today's action plan and recommendation, the commission is providing support to member states in their
efforts to step up returns, as called for by the EU leaders at the Malta
European Commission updates action plan on return procedures following Malta Summit