From file: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson | Photo: Ansa
From file: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson | Photo: Ansa

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson is aiming to "significantly" speed up migrant repatriations and readmissions using a EU visa policy.

European Commisisoner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson is aiming to "significantly" speed up the repatriation and readmission of migrants, in part thanks to the recent adoption of the EU Code on Visas.

The visa code is useful for "applying pressure", the Swedish politician said on the sidelines of a Home Affairs Council meeting on Friday, March 12.

The discussion will continue on Monday during the council meeting, which will include foreign affairs ministers as well. The basis of the discussion is a report on the collaboration for readmission between 39 third countries and the EU's 27 member states.

'Possibility for improvement on home front'

Johansson said that she was working to speed up repatriation and readmissions significantly, adding that she had been involved in conducting talks directly at the highest political level with partner nations.

She added that, with the report, there was now a useful tool to show which third countries are cooperating and how EU member states are managing the cooperation.

The commissioner said that she nonetheless could see the possibility for improvement on the home front as well. She noted that in 2019, some half a million decisions were made on repatriations in the EU -- but only 140,000-150,000 were carried out. Thus far this number must be increased, she said.

'Move more quickly on issue'

At the foreign and interior ministers council on Monday (March 15) there will also be discussion on readmissions.

The commissioner noted that she was working closely with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the matter and that she wants the European Commission and the EU-27 to assess which countries must be prioritized to improve cooperation on readmissions, since not all 39 can be focused on.

She expressed the hope that they will be able to move more quickly on the matter and present proposals for improvement in or harsher visa policies for third countries on the basis of the result of readmission talks this summer.

 

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