Europe's immigration and border strategy is still "encouraging irregular migration", an MEP has claimed. (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)


EU border strategy still ‘encourages irregular migration’, MEP claims


Europe’s immigration and border control strategy is still “encouraging irregular migration”, an MEP has claimed.

Writing to the European Commission, Rassemblement National politician Jean-Paul Garraud expressed scepticism over whether recent measures aimed at increasing migrant repatriations were affecting the numbers of arrivals.

Garraud put particular emphasis on the findings of a 2021 special report by the European Court of Auditors, which said the bloc’s past efforts to organise returns to third-party countries were “limited”.

“The 2021 report shows that EU actions to facilitate readmission cooperation have ultimately not proven to be relevant, as they have had mixed results,” he said.

“Furthermore, shortcomings in the data on returns and readmissions prevented the court from being able to assess the overall impact.”

He added that Europe’s “failure” to return migrants to their countries of origin had “clearly not changed” since the publication of the 2021 report – the latest report on the matter conducted by the European Court of Auditors.

“Under the current circumstances, the EU’s return system is encouraging irregular migration with its inefficiency,” he concluded, before asking the EC to confirm whether or not it has been able to ” boost readmission co-operation with third countries”.

Responding to the French politician’s queries, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson failed to confirm whether or not readmissions had increased since the 2021 report.

She went on to claim the EC had recently “intensified engagement with third countries” regarding migrant returns.

“This mechanism has reinforced dialogue and contributed to improving readmission cooperation, also in the framework of comprehensive migration partnerships with third countries,” she said, without referencing any figures.

Johansson went on to say it was “important” for the EU to also enhance its internal co-operation to “better handle” migration.

“While external engagement continues, it is equally important to make the internal procedures more efficient to increase the EU’s capacity to return [migrants],” she said.

“The Commission is working on legal, operational and practical measures together with Member States and EU agencies,” she added, saying such efforts were being worked on with the EU’s Return Co-ordinator, the High-Level Network on Returns and the EU border agency Frontex.