Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (recast) - A contribution from the European Commission to the Leaders’ meeting in Salzburg on 19-20 September 2018

1. This Explanatory Memorandum (EM) relates to the recast of the Returns Directive (2008/ 115/ EC) which sets common standards and procedures to be applied for the return of illegally staying third country nationals in full respect of fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement.

2. The proposal is part of the package of measures proposed by the Commission as a follow up to the June European Council which highlighted the need to improve EU performance on returns. The current EU return policy is regulated by Directive 2008/115/ EC, however since its entry into force the situation of migration in the EU has changed significantly. There has been little progress in increasing efficiency of returns; the return rate in the EU decreased from 45.8% in 2016 to 36.6% in 2017. Member States face significant difficulties in returning illegally staying third-country nationals including inconsistent definitions, use of detention and rate of absconding. Given the change in the situation of asylum in the EU and the need to address obstacles to return it was deemed necessary to propose a recast of the Return Directive.

Topic  Migration 
Department  Home Office 
Council Reference  12099/18 
COM Reference  COM(18)634 
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
JOIN   
SWD   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)


  1. 12099/18 - 702 KB - pdf
  2. 12099/18 + Add 1 - 325 KB - pdf
  3. EM 12099/18 - 123 KB - pdf

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