, EU wants to send more people back to Africa, Middle East, Asia -

EU wants to send more people back to Africa, Middle East, Asia

The migration ministers of the European Union will meet on Thursday to discuss visa limits and improved cooperation within the union in order to be able to return more people to their home countries, particularly Iraq, who do not have the right to refuge in Europe.

Only Gambia has been formally penalized three years after the 27-nation EU decided to restrict visas for nations perceived to be refusing to help in returning their nationals.

Similar actions were planned by the EU’s executive European Commission for Iraq, Senegal, and Bangladesh; however, two EU officials reported that since then, cooperation with Dhaka on repatriating citizens had improved.

However, the most recent data available from Eurostat shows that the aggregate rate of effective returns for the EU was 21% in 2021.

Members states deem that amount to be too low, according to an EU official.

The bloc’s member countries would much rather talk about increasing returns and preventing irregular immigration than rekindle their acrimonious disputes over how to divide up the responsibility for caring for those who manage to enter Europe and obtain the right to stay, as immigration is a very sensitive political issue in the bloc.

In a discussion document for the ministers that Reuters was able to get, the Commission stated that “establishing an effective and consistent EU system for returns is a crucial pillar of well-functioning and credible migration and asylum systems.”

According to U.N. data, 160,000 people crossed the Mediterranean in 2022, making it the primary route for people trying to reach Europe from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, around 8 million Ukrainian refugees were registered throughout Europe.

Two weeks prior to the 27 EU state leaders meeting in Brussels to discuss migration, the ministers meet and are anticipated to push for the expulsion of further individuals.

A draft of their joint statement, which Reuters also saw, stated that “swift action is essential to secure successful returns from the European Union to countries of origin utilizing as leverage all relevant EU policies.”

However, according to the Commission, there aren’t enough resources or cooperation between government agencies inside the EU to guarantee that every person who doesn’t have permission to stay is actually sent back or deported.

It went on to mention issues with recognizing and providing identity and travel documents as well as the “insufficient cooperation of countries of origin” as an additional hurdle.

However, in the past, pressure from the migration chiefs to penalize some third countries with visa restrictions has clashed with the EU’s own foreign and development ministries, or failed due to competing agendas of different EU members.

Therefore, there has not yet been a sufficient number of EU nations to impose sanctions on any other nation than Gambia, where applicants for visas to the union now must wait longer and cannot obtain multiple entry visas.

Germany is among those attempting to open up their labor market to much-needed employees from outside the bloc, even as EU nations like Austria and Hungary make loud protests against the primarily Muslim, unauthorized immigration from the Middle East and North Africa.

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