Thursday, March 17, 2016

Return of irregular migrants to be carried out with legal safeguards - EU

The European Commission on Wednesday stressed that the return of irregular migrants, and asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected, can only be carried out in respect of European and international law.

The Commission, or the executive body of the European Union (EU), made the remarks in a communication unveiled a day ahead of the European Council meeting that aims for a new deal on migration cooperation with Turkey.

The arrangements for such returns should only be considered as a temporary and extraordinary measure aimed at putting an end to the human suffering resulting from the current significant migrant flows between Turkey and Greece, the Commission noted.

This entails that every asylum application is treated individually, respecting the clear legal and procedural parameters set out in the EU Asylum Procedures Directive, it added.

To elaborate, the Commission said all new irregular migrants and asylum seekers entering Greece found not in need of international protection will be returned to Turkey under the bilateral readmission agreement between Greece and Turkey.

Meanwhile, if a person has already been recognized as a refugee or already enjoys sufficient protection in a "first country of asylum", or if a person has come to the EU from a "safe third country" which can guarantee effective access to protection, his or her application for asylum status in the EU will be rejected and the person will be returned.

On March 7, EU leaders agreed to work with Turkey on the basis of a set of six principles to take bold moves to close down people smuggling routes and to end the migration crisis in Europe. Further talks on joint refugee action between the EU and Turkey will dominate the agenda of the March 17-18 European Council meeting.
 [Xinhua -]

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