The European Commission presented a new strategy on Tuesday to increase the numbers of rejected asylum seekers voluntarily returning to their home countries.
The Strategy promotes voluntary return and reintegration as an integral part of a common EU system for returns, a key objective under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. It sets out practical measures to strengthen the legal and operational framework for voluntary returns from Europe and from transit countries, improve the quality of return and reintegration programmes, establish better links with development initiatives and strengthen cooperation with partner countries.
“The EU is building a new ecosystem on returns – looking at increasing cooperation on readmission, improving the governance framework, equipping Frontex with a new operational mandate on returns and appointing an EU Return Coordinator“, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas said. “Today’s Strategy on voluntary returns and reintegration is another piece of that puzzle. Returns are more effective when they are voluntary and accompanied by genuine reintegration options for returnees and this Strategy will develop a more uniform and coordinated approach among Member States to unlock their full potential,” he added.
Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs said “Only about a third of people with no right to stay in the EU return to their country of origin and of those who do, fewer than 30% do so voluntarily“, adding “Our first ever strategy on voluntary return and reintegration will help returnees from both the EU and third countries to seize opportunities in their home country, contribute to the development of the community and build trust in our migration system to make it more effective.”
Cooperation on voluntary return and reintegration is a key aspect of migration partnerships that the EU will strengthen under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The EU will support the ownership of reintegration processes in partner countries with capacity building, providing staff with the necessary skills, or supporting governance structures to cater to the specific economic, social and psychosocial needs of returnees. The EU will also continue to provide assistance for voluntary return and reintegration of migrants stranded in other countries, including through exploring new partnerships. Finally, the EU will strengthen links between reintegration programmes and other relevant development initiatives in partner countries. The Commission will ensure a more coordinated use of the financial resources that will be available under different EU funds to support the entirety of the voluntary return and reintegration process