The majority of asylum seekers in the European Union do not require international protection.. “And member states should focus on increasing the return of those who do not have the right to remain, given that in the Union, barely a fifth of those whose asylum applications have been rejected are returned. Not always and not only because of countries outside the EU.” This was confirmed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the meeting of the Commissioners’ Body last February 8 in Brussels, on the eve of the Extraordinary European Council for Migration, as stated in the minutes consulted by AdnKronos.
The president stressed the importance of directing the discussions of heads of state or government towards “specific goals”, warning against falling into the “trap” of focusing exclusively on the nearly 330,000 irregular crossings of the EU’s external borders registered in 2022, a record since then. . 2016. This figure, von der Leyen warned, should be seen “in perspective” and “in the context of the 3 million legal migrants the EU is proud to welcome each year”.
The President also noted that nearly “4 million Ukrainian citizens have been granted refugee status”, through the application of the Directive on Temporary Protection. In order to efficiently manage migratory flows, he continued, it is of “fundamental importance” to ensure that EU lawmakers, the Council and Parliament “adopt all elements of the European Compact on Migration and Asylum by the end of this Commission’s mandate”, i.e. during the first few months of 2024.
Likewise, according to von der Leyen, it is “necessary” to continue to implement measures on the ground, and to strengthen control at the borders of the European Union, based on the “lessons” learned from the “pilot project” carried out on the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, in order to ” Accelerating border controls” and “increasing rates of return of illegal immigrants to their countries of origin.” The President noted that “most asylum seekers in the European Union do not need international protection.” He adds that established asylum rules must be followed “strictly” to protect the system. Persons, who do not obtain refugee status, must be “efficiently” returned to their countries of origin.
Von der Leyen emphasized that repatriation rates remain “extremely low”, averaging between “20% and 21% for the EU as a whole”. To improve these figures, the German Christian Democrat noted, “not only a greater desire on the part of the countries of origin to take back their nationals, but also a more rigorous enforcement of repatriation decisions by the member states”. Finally, von der Leyen stressed the need for a “joint” approach to addressing “migration as a whole”.
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