01 May 2016
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"To effectively address hurdles that occur during the process of return by reducing administrative burdens and aligning and simplifying rules and regulations to overcome procedural challenges, especially in relation to the application of detention, the suspensive effect of return and asylum decisions, and multiple and last minute asylum applications and appeals"
EU Member States will be "invited" to ease the expulsion of expelling "illegally staying third-country nationals" by reducing "administrative burdens" - such as "the suspensive effect of return and asylum decisions" and "multiple and last minute asylum applications and appeals" - if a set of draft conclusions being prepared for the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 20 May remain in their current form.
See: NOTE from: Presidency to: Delegations: Draft Council conclusions on the expulsion of illegally staying third-country nationals (8828/16, 11 May 2016, pdf)
Following a lengthy preamble, the draft conclusions confirm the agreement of the Council on the continuation of "the high-level migration dialogues of the EU" and on the possible establishment of "legally non-binding working arrangements on identification, return and readmission" with "third countries at EU level, pertaining in particular to [third countries'] own nationals and including the holding of regular, informal meetings at expert level..."
The next section "invites" EU Member States:
"To take necessary measures to avoid the misuse of migrants’ rights and of asylum and migration procedures with the purpose of obstructing the process of return, where appropriate in a harmonised manner;
To effectively address hurdles that occur during the process of return by reducing administrative burdens and aligning and simplifying rules and regulations to overcome procedural challenges, especially in relation to the application of detention, the suspensive effect of return and asylum decisions, and multiple and last minute asylum applications and appeals;"
The fact that rights of appeal against "return" decisions exist precisely for the purpose "obstructing the process of return" - for example, so that it can be established whether a particular decision has been taken in accordance with the law - seems to have escaped the attention of the authors of the draft conclusions.
The Commission is also invited:
"To take the misuse of migrants’ rights and of asylum and migration procedures that obstructs return into account when reviewing relevant instruments of the asylum acquis, as announced in its Communication of 6 April 20162, in particular the Asylum Procedures Directive"
The text is to be sent to the 13 May meeting of the JHA Counsellors, a Council working group that does not publish the minutes of its meetings.
The draft conclusions also call for numerous actions in relation to the "non-binding common standards for Assisted Voluntary Return (and Reintegration) Programmes implemented by Member States". The text of those standards can be seen in this document(8829/16, 11 May 2016, pdf)
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