EC proposal leaves window of migrants’ return to Greece open
The European Commission will table a non-binding proposal, Thursday, according to which illegal immigrants that have entered EU countries through Greece could be sent back to Greece. The Commission proposed the measure take effect from mid March, after it had judged that the screening, registration and asylum process in Greece had notably improved. The Dublin Accord provides for the return of illegal immigrants from EU member states to the country-point of entry into the EU, in order for them to be registered and then relocated -if they are eligible- based on the EU-Turkey agreement. The Commission aims to encourage the relocation process, as it has committed to move 120,000 migrants and refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU member-states.
The Commission hopes that by partly reintroducing the Dublin Accord, EU member-states will be more receptive to migrants and refugees relocated back. Furthermore, the EC wants the normalisation of free movement and the lifting of border controls within the EU Schengen area, following the massive influx of refugees and migrants over the past two years. To avoid a mass return to Greece, the new plan will be implemented under two conditions: there will be no retroactive application of the returns, meaning that only the migrants who are illegally in the EU and have used Greece as a transit spot after March 15, 2017 will be returned, and Greece will have to agree with any return.
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