European Union aims to 'place refugees in detention'

Migration commissioner says EU states may place migrants in detention 'if there is a risk of absconding'

European Union aims to 'place refugees in detention'

World Bulletin / News Desk

 The European Union is aiming to "place refugees in detention" during return procedures, its migration commissioner said Thursday.

Speaking in a press conference in Brussels, Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, stated that European Commission has called for coordinated action to implement the return policy of irregular refugees.

"Member states should use the possibility to place refugees in detention, if there is a risk of absconding and for a sufficient period to be able to complete the return and readmission procedure," Avramopoulos said.

He urged EU member states to follow readmission policies, saying that they "should ensure that return decisions are quickly issued and enforced."

Avramopoulos said their aim is to reduce the number of irregular arrivals, adding that the EU is continuing its efforts to engage with third countries on migration.

Meanwhile, a European Commission report found that the member states failed to keep their promises on the resettlement and implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement.

Signed on March 18, 2016, the agreement aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Avramopoulos said the deal "continues to deliver results, and numbers of arrivals remains low. From an average of 1,700 refugees arriving in Greece a year ago, the average today stands at 47 per day."

However, while 72,000 refugees should have been resettled to the EU from Turkey under the agreement, the actual number of Syrians resettled was 3,565 as of Feb. 27, the report said.

"Both returns and relocations need to be accelerated in order to reduce the migratory pressure on the Aegean islands," he stated.

The EU also failed to deliver a promised €3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in aid that has been pledged for the refugees living in Turkey. According to the report, Turkey received only €750 million of it.


- Visa liberalization  

The report said, "Turkey should take the necessary measures to fulfill the remaining visa liberalization benchmarks as soon as possible, to enable the EU to lift the visa requirements for Turkish citizens."

"There are still seven benchmarks that remain to be met," including revising legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards, the report read.

While Turkey has fulfilled 65 of the criteria, differences between Brussels and Ankara on anti-terror legislation have forestalled the visa liberalization deal.

Changing counter-terrorism legislation is a key condition of the visa-free travel agreement between the 28-member bloc and Turkey.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Mart 2017, 20:53