New document to assist returns of economic migrants moves a step closer

May 30, 2016


A single EU document for the return of failed asylum applicants to their home country is a step closer to being realised after the European Parliament’s home affairs committee adopted the proposal today.

The legislation – steered through the parliament by ECR MEP Jussi Halla-aho – creates a recognisable document with clearer security features, and increased translation requirements to help with third countries accepting the document. It seeks to overcome the current problem where a number of returned economic migrants are refused readmission owing to differing returns documents that are often little more than a piece of paper.

Today’s vote enables Mr Halla-aho to begin talks with EU governments to find agreement on the legislation, so that it can be enacted swiftly.
Mr Halla-aho said:

“Some countries are refusing to accept returns of economic migrants who do not have travel documents because the documentation issued by many EU countries is little more than a piece of paper.

“By producing a single returns document with security features, available in a number of languages, we make it far harder for countries to refuse returns because of poor paperwork.

“The low enforcement-rate of return decisions is detrimental to the credibility and legitimacy of the European asylum and immigration policy in the eyes of our citizens, and it also encourages abuse of the asylum system. While the common European travel document for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals is no magical solution, it is one small piece in the puzzle and one step in the right direction.

“This is a simple but hopefully effective element to helping speed up returns of failed asylum applicants, and I will now work to put it in place as soon as possible.”