At present, there is no clear overview of EU funding for cooperation with third countries on the readmission of migrants. Nevertheless, the auditors identified some sixty projects relating to the readmission and reintegration of irregular migrants, for a total amount of €641 million. They will focus on readmission cooperation with the 10 countries of origin with the highest number of unattover irregular migrants (excluding Syria) and will also assess the results of 20 EU projects on the readmission and reintegration of irregular migrants in these countries. In order to facilitate the implementation of readmission obligations, the EU has concluded 18 legally binding readmission agreements with third countries. However, third countries may be reluctant to participate in the negotiations, mainly for domestic political reasons, as these agreements can be a source of public hostility. Since 2016, the Commission has therefore focused on developing practical cooperation agreements with them and has adopted several non-legally binding provisions on return and readmission, which have been criticised from the point of view of democratic and judicial accountability. « The best way to manage migration is an urgent issue for the EU and its member states, » said Leo Brincat, a member of the European Security Court who led the audit. « As external auditors of the EU, we have recently carried out several audits of EU rules on asylum and relocation of migrants. We will now look more closely at their return and readmission to third countries. In addition to eu agreements, Finland has concluded bilateral readmission agreements with the following countries: one of the reasons for the low rate of effective return of migrants ordered to leave the EU is the lack of cooperation from some third countries to identify and readmit their nationals.

This is why the EU cooperates very actively with the countries of origin of irregular migrants, including through « readmission agreements ». It sets out clear obligations and procedures for authorities in non-EU countries and EU Member States as to when and how irregular migrants should be removed. They aim to improve administrative cooperation and can only be used after a return decision, in line with the procedural safeguards of the Return Directive and EU asylum rules (Asylum Procedures Directive). The objective of the auditors is to assess the progress made by the EU since 2015 in developing the framework for the readmission of irregular migrants to third countries and to assess whether this framework has been effectively implemented for priority third countries. They will examine the process of negotiating EU readmission agreements and agreements, how priority countries have been identified, the Commission`s support and the incentives given to third countries to improve readmission cooperation and the exchange of best practices. So far, the EU has concluded readmission agreements with the following states and autonomous regions: none of these countries has concluded a readmission agreement. The auditors today published an audit review on migrant return policy – cooperation with third countries on readmission. » Audit previews provide information about an ongoing audit task and are designed as a source of information for those interested in the policy or programs being reviewed. The full audit overview is available in eca.europa.eu English. The report is expected to be released in the summer of 2021. `return` means the process by which a third-country national returns to his or her country of origin or transit, either to a third country which accepts him or her, either under voluntary recruitment or by execution. The readmission of nationals of a country is an obligation under international law. .

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