Tuesday 16 May 2006, by House of Lords Select Committee on European Union
The Committee’s report examines the European Commission’s proposal for an EU Directive to establish common standards and procedures in Member States for dealing with the return of illegal migrants. Issues considered include: voluntary return and enforced removal, periods and conditions of detention, return of unaccompanied children, judicial supervision, and the Article 9 provisions for a ban on re-entry to any EU member state. Findings include: support for the principle of a common EU policy for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals, although it is questionable whether the EU should proceed with this before a common policy governing admissions is in place; the current proposal is right to give primacy to voluntary return, with forcible removal only used as an alternative when all opportunities for voluntary return have been exhausted. However, rather than raising standards to the highest currently in force in the Member States, there is a danger that the proposed Directive may result in the lowering of standards in some Member States since the standards proposed are generally a compromise between the best and the worst.
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