Return Directive 2008/115/EC. European implementation assessment

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


In November 2019, the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) launched an implementation report on Directive 2008/115/EC on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (the 'Return Directive'). The Return Directive aims at ensuring that the return of non-EU nationals without legal grounds to stay in the EU is carried out effectively, through fair and transparent procedures that fully respect the fundamental rights and dignity of the people concerned. Tineke Strik (Greens/EFA, the Netherlands) was appointed as rapporteur. Implementation reports by European Parliament committees are routinely accompanied by European Implementation Assessments, drawn up by the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit of the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS). This EPRS European Implementation Assessment finds several protection gaps and shortcomings regarding the four key measures of the Return Directive – return decision, enforcement of the return decision, entry ban, and detention – which may lead to fundamental rights violations for irregular migrants. Moreover, EU return and readmission policy has increasingly resorted to informal cooperation in the external policy dimension. There have been, and continue to be, rule of law, fundamental rights, budgetary and external affairs implications flowing from the pursuit, conclusion and implementation of EU readmission agreements and agreements having equivalent effect with third countries.

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