Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE) will participate in a council meeting of the European Union’s home affairs and justice ministers. One issue on the agenda is the EU’s return policy, or sending back illegal immigrants to their home countries.
The meeting will address several issues concerning migration, including discussing the EU’s common return policy, especially with a focus on Libya. Leading up to the meeting, Anvelt stated in a press release that he would speak in favor of improving the union’s return policy.
Anvelt welcomed that the European Commission had made a proposal to supplement the action plan for the return of illegal immigrants to their come countries. “If we don’t have a debate about this in the European Union at the political level, then things won’t improve,” Anvelt said.
Roughly a million third-country citizens are illegally in the EU. On average just one in three is actually sent back, and the proportion of people eventually sent back differs from country to country.
“We would need to be more ambitious in our cooperation with third countries and even put sanctions into place in those cases where countries don’t meet the return treaties,” Anvelt said. “Sending people back is the best way to lessen the migration crisis, because like this we are countering the myth that Europe will accept everybody, including those who don’t really need protection.”
According to the minister, the union’s approach to solving the migration crisis has to become more diverse. To this end, three components were necessary. The first would be states’ voluntary receiving refugees on their own conditions, including background checks. The second would take the shape of a national contribution to the union’s border control, like Estonia’s sending 211 specialists to participate in the EU’s efforts. The third component would be financial support aimed at lessening the effects of the crisis, Anvelt said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn