Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Secret EU[rabia] plan to return thousands of migrants.
Secret EU[rabia] plan to return thousands of migrants. (SP).
Brussels will threaten to withdraw aid, trade deals and visa arrangements if countries such as Niger and Eritrea refuse to take back their economic migrants. The proposals also envisage EU states detaining thousands of migrants to prevent them from absconding to avoid deportation.
The EU plans to deport hundreds of thousands of migrants back to their home countries within weeks, according to a Brussels secret document leaked to British daily the Times.
The plans apparently include the creation of a new "dedicated return office" unit in the EU's Frontex border guard agency to deal with the "irregular migrants."
The EU plans to use trade treaty clauses to force the return of refugees whose asylum applications failed to countries including Mali, Niger, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, which have development aid and trade treaties with the EU, the Times reported. "All measures must be taken to ensure irregular migrants’ effective return, including use of detention," the leaked EU document said.
It is unclear whether refugees from countries in the midst of armed conflict, such as Syria and Afghanistan, would be forced to return to their countries. However, according to the document, the goal of the policy is to end the migrant flow altogether, rather than deal with the issue's causes.
"Increased return rates should act as a deterrent to irregular migration," the document also said.
According to the Times, the plan only applies to Schengen Area of EU countries, which does not include the UK or Ireland.
The plan could impact as many as 400,000 asylum seekers who had their claims rejected in recent months, according to the newspaper.
According to the document, EU countries which do not enforce the deportations would also face legal action from the European Commission, the Times reported. Read the full story here.