Magazine article European Social Policy

Asylum and Immigration : Parliament Adopts Immigration Package

Magazine article European Social Policy

Asylum and Immigration : Parliament Adopts Immigration Package

Article excerpt

On 14 December, the European Parliament adopted, by a show of hands in first reading, proposals for a European Return Fund (ERF) that will help, with a budget of 676 million for 2008-2013, share the costs of return policies aimed at illegal migrants. The ERF, which should enter into force from January 2008, aims to help member states share the financial burden of managing EU external borders and co-finances technical assistance with respect to integrated return management policies as well as exchange of information and best practice among member states.

The report, by Barbara Kudrycka (EPP, Poland), strengthens compliance with fundamental rights by any action co-financed by the Fund. MEPs also stressed the need to promote voluntary return by stronger cooperation with local authorities as well as limited financial contributions to third country nationals returning voluntarily. The ERF will provide member states each with a minimum sum of 300,000 per year. Remaining funds are allocated according the number of illegal immigrants to be returned on a member state's territory as well as according to the number of former immigrants already having left the EU.

Other reports in the same area, also by Kudrycka, were the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (2007-2013), the European Refugee Fund (2008-2013) and the External Borders Fund (2007-2013). Part of the general programme Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows, the three programmes should enter into force from the beginning of next year. …

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