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Monday 24.04.2017 | Name days: Nameda, Visvaldis, Ritvaldis

EP supports simplified return of third-country nationals

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Thursday, 15 September, the European Parliament approved the proposal of the European Commission on a standard European travel document to speed up the deportation of people who arrive or stay in the European Union illegally back to their home countries.

The main objective of MEPs is to strengthen the standard form’s security features and technical precautions to help with its recognition in third countries. To ensure the new regulation comes into force, it has to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

Currently, third countries do not wish to accept return documents provided by EU member states. There are multiple reasons for this, including insufficient amount of security information detailed on those documents and too different document formats, as noted by the European Parliament.

Data of the European Commission states that only less than 40% of decisions on deportation had been realized in 2014.

«The low enforcement-rate of return decisions seriously undermines the credibility and legitimacy of the European asylum and immigration policies in the eyes of our citizens. It also encourages abuse of the asylum systems in Europe. While a uniform form for the European travel document for the return of irregularly staying third country nationals is no magic solution, it is one step in the right direction when it comes to enforcing existing legislation and decisions,» – says EP informer Jussi Halla-aho.

The new regulation provides for a common format for the European travel document, updating a non-binding Council recommendation in 1994. To combat counterfeiting and falsification, the harmonised return forms will use the same security details, such as watermarks, as were laid down in 2002 for entry visas issued by EU countries to residents without valid travel papers.

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