PN141105F

IMMEDIATE

MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2005

LORDS COMMITTEE TO HOLD INQUIRY INTO EU PROCEDURES FOR RETURNING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee is conducting an inquiry into Commission proposals for returning illegally staying third-country nationals.

The proposal aims to establish common rules across Member States for  returning illegally staying third country nationals. It includes rules on removal, the use of coercive measures, pre-removal detention and appeal procedures. It suggests an EU-wide re-entry ban and provisions on apprehension in another Member State.

The proposal is based on the Return Action Programme adopted by the Council in November 2002, which called for common standards for facilitating returns. In November 2004 it renewed calls for "an effective removal and repatriation policy based on common standards for persons to be returned in a humane manner and with full respect for human rights and dignity".

The Committee would particularly welcome comments on:

  • the legal basis of the draft directive, and the premises on which it is based

  • whether the standards proposed comply with human rights law

  • the merits of the procedural rules, particularly of a two-step process - return decision followed by removal order - and whether they allow for an informed choice of voluntary return

  • the provisions for individuals who cannot be removed, whether temporarily or indefinitely

  • the conditions and duration of detention

  • the safeguards for individuals to be removed (such as concerning their arrest and escort), particularly where removal action is sub-contracted to private companies

  • provisions allowing or requiring postponement of removal

  • the proposals for a re-entry ban, including reliance on the Schengen Information System in the application of the ban

  • the provisions on judicial remedies and the effect of delays

  • the impact of this proposal on Member States' operational cooperation, as for example in the context of the European Border Agency.

Submissions should be sent by Monday 12 December 2005 to Michael Collon, Clerk of Sub-Committee F, Select Committee on the European Union, Committee Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW, and preferably also as an email attachment to  [email protected] Telephone  020 7219 8650    fax 020 7219 6715.

[ENDS]