Wed 3 Sep 2008
EurActiv Aug. 26, 2008:
The EU institutions adopted a directive on procedures for returning illegally resident third-country nationals and approved by the European Parliament on 18 June 2008.
The Return Directive is part of the Commission’s common immigration and asylum policy outlined in the Hague Programme. The EU executive sees the directive as a tool to organise the return of illegal migrants by establishing common standards guaranteeing that they are returned with dignity and full respect for their human rights.
Yet the final compromise was deemed “flawed” by many MEPs from the Socialist Group (PES), the Greens and the left (GUE/NGL), all of whom refused to support it, saying it breached EU human rights standards.
The Return Directive seeks to standardise the procedures regulating the expulsion of illegal immigrants and close loopholes in national legislation. The text covers periods of custody and re-entry bans and also includes a number of legal safeguards.
Under a key principle of the directive, EU member states cannot adopt harsher rules than the ones laid out in the directive. However, they will be able to retain more liberal rules or adopt new ones of a more permissive nature
Once a decision is taken to deport an individual who cannot claim asylum or refugee status, a voluntary departure period (7-30 days) follows.
If the deportee does not leave, national authorities will issue a removal order, which can include an entry ban of up to five years.
If the judicial authority issuing the removal order has serious grounds to believe that the deportee might be hiding, the person can be put into custody.
In nine EU member states, deportees can be detained indefinitely; in others, there are less stringent rules. The Return Directive (art. 15) sets the maximum period of custody at six months, with a possible twelve-month extension (6+12: maximum detention adds up to 18 months).
Families, children and asylum seekers
The Return Directive clarifies that families and children can only be held in custody as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
Unaccompanied minors will only be repatriated if they can be returned to their families or to “adequate reception facilities”.
During negotiations, EU countries pushed for their national authorities to be granted greater flexibility in defining “emergency situations”: if exceptionally large numbers of illegal immigrants constitute a burden on the country’s judicial system, it can allow more time for judicial review.
Legal aid will also be provided to immigrants who have no resources.
The return fund set up by the Commission, €676 million for the period 2008-13, can also be used to cover the cost of judicial help for illegal migrants.
Member states must also consider the political situation in the country of origin.
In accordance with the principle of “non-refoulement”, procedural safeguards for asylum seekers are left unaffected. A list of countries considered “unsafe” is drafted together by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.
EU Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Jacques Barrot, embezzlement-convicted – but not punished! – supported the compromise reached in Parliament on the Return Directive, saying it gives priority to voluntary returns as well as to protecting the rights of children and families. He added that the Commission would monitor the implementation of the legislation to ensure that the standards of the European Convention and the UN Declaration on Human Rights are observed.
Amnesty International was very disappointed with the outcome of the vote on the Return Directive. In their view, the text approved by the European Parliament does not guarantee the return of irregular migrants in safety and dignity.
Sverker Rudeberg, the chairman of the immigration working group at European employers’ organisation BusinessEurope, said the EU should send a clear signal to third countries that it is not xenophobic. Speaking during the 2008 edition of Employment Week, he called on the bloc not to present a “xenophobic” face to the rest of the world
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)’s confederal secretary, Catalene Passchier, highlighted the responsibility of governments who, according to her, often exploit dormant fears of migrant workers for populist policies.
She said it is thus important for trade unions to take a clear position: “We don’t believe in closed borders. We don’t believe that closing borders protects workers.”
Serbs made refugees in Kosovo (video) in NATOs and the EU´s ethnic cleansing in favour of the Muslims.
The EU dispatched 2000 policemen to Kosovo in Febr. 2008, after that ancient Serbian province had proclaimed its independence of Serbia, having got a Muslim population majority due to expulsion of Serbs and a higher birth rate than the Serbs.
This arrogant attempt by the EU to play a great power led to Russia´s condemnation, retaliation in Georgia on the same grounds, the humiliation of the EU, its loss of leadership in “world governance” based on “soft” Fabian socialist power, and a new cold war.
Since the European Declaration on Fundamental Rights is being violated in practically all Muslim countries this means our lifelong obligation to provide for ever more unskilled and workshy Muslim illegal immigrants who thereby fulfill their mission in life: To emigrate and fight for the ideology of Muhammad (Koransure 3:195, 4:100, 9:20) at our cost – in Denmark and Sweden the costs of immigration amount to more than 30% of the state budgets a year. The employment rate among non-western immigrants in the Danish town of Holstebro (57.000 inhabitants) was 30% for women and 54% for men! In comparison the overall rate of employment of the Danes was 76% in 2005.
In addition to increasing criminality, we feel the consequences as lack of money for hospitals: Next year Denmark´s hospitals will have to economize beyond the limits of responsibility already transgressed. This will increase waiting times for orthopaedic operations, cancer examinations and treatments, deprive cancer patients of new drugs etc.
Furthermore the increasing immigration causes an exodus of personnel such as nurses, police officers, teachers etc. from stressing and badly paid jobs. School buildings are decaying, aid for the elderly deteriorates etc.
This calamity now occurs although the state has never had higher revenues from taxes due to full employment than now.