EU mulls to boost return of migrants

BRUSSLES: The European Union is mulling boosting the rate of return for irregular migrants who have been denied asylum within the 27-country bloc. EU interior ministers met Thursday to discuss how to return irregular migrants to their home countries more effectively – with some arguing for limiting visas to uncooperative nations.
“Returning those who have been denied asylum in Europe is a really important issue,” said Maria Malmer Stenergard, migration minister for Sweden, which hosted the meeting as the current holder of the EU presidency.
European Commission statistics show that in 2021, out of 340,500 orders for migrants to be returned to their countries of origin, only 21% were carried out.
“We have a very low return rate,” noted EU home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson. “We can do significant progress here to increase the numbers of returns and have it more effective and quicker,” she said. The Swedish EU presidency believes cooperation could be improved with countries outside the EU whose citizens make up significant numbers of irregular migrants. Malmer Stenergard said it was “crucial” that EU member states use the full weight of their governments – including leveraging development aid – to press third countries on the issue of the returns. –Agencies