Backing for fund to share cost of an integrated return policy for migrants

Pressmeddelande   •   Nov 07, 2006 16:59 CET

The Civil Liberties Committee voted on Monday to give the go-ahead to the proposed European Return Fund, which aims to improve the management of the return of migrants to their country of origin, by providing support to Member States. The amendments adopted were based on a compromise with Commission and Council which should mean the legislation enters force from January 2008. Three other funds covering related policy areas were also approved.

The European Return Fund is part of the Commission's "solidarity and management of migration flows" programme, launched last year. It aims to ensure Member States share more fairly the financial burden of managing the Union's external borders. It will co-finance technical assistance to set up an integrated return management policy and to facilitate the exchange of information and best practice among Member States.

MEPs amended the proposals to reinforce the principle that any action co-financed by the Fund must comply with fundamental rights. While supporting the simplification of enforced return procedures, Members insisted on the need also to promote voluntary return, notably by developing stronger cooperation with local authorities to exchange and provide information about past experiences of migrants who returned to their home country. The text as adopted also provides for limited financial contributions to third country nationals retuning home voluntarily. This financial aid may include the costs of the first days of residence in the country of return as well as a limited start-up help for economic activities, where appropriate.

The European Return Fund will provide €676 million for the period 2008-13.. Each Member State will receive €300 000 each year. Half of the remainder will be allocated according the number of illegal immigrants already subject to a return decision present on each Member State's territory. The other half is to be assigned in proportion to the number of former immigrants to each country who have already left the EU, whether they left of their own accord or were expelled.

The fund for management of the return of illegal third country nationals is one of four proposed by the Commission under the 'solidarity and management of migration flows' initiative. They are all mechanisms for financial burden sharing - the other three, also approved by the committee on Monday, cover the control of external borders and a common visa policy, the integration of legally resident immigrants, and asylum policy.

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Chair : Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR)
Procedure: Co -decision (first reading)
Plenary vote: November II, Brussels

Federico De Girolamo
Press Service
E-postadress :
Telefonnummer i Bryssel : (32-2) 28 31389 (BXL)
Mobilnummer : (32) 0498.983.591
Telefonnummer i Strasbourg : (33-3) 881 72850 (STR)