Less than 30 percent of migrants who illegally enter or stay in the European Union (E.U.) follow orders to return to their home country outside of Europe, according to a new report.
Additionally, an analysis conducted by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) found that under 40 percent of all "irregular migrants" who are instructed to leave E.U. members states actually do so.
“Every year since 2008, half a million foreign nationals on average are ordered to leave the EU because they have entered or are staying irregularly,” the ECA revealed in a press release.
“However, only 38% return to their country of origin or to the country from which they travelled to the EU. This average drops below 30% for returns outside Europe.”
The body cites poor cooperation from many migrants' countries of origin as a driving factor for the low return rate.
“Cooperation on readmission is an integral part of the EU's political dialogue with third countries: the Commission, the European External Action Service and the Member States tackle it through specific cooperation frameworks with third countries,” the ECA stated.
“The Cotonou agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and other EU agreements with third countries, contain an obligation to accept the return of any of their nationals illegally present on EU territory, at a Member State’s request and without further formalities.”
The ECA has published a preview of the forthcoming full report, which is due to be released in the summer of 2021.
A variety of roadblocks can make the removal of illegal migrants from E.U. countries a difficult task, particularly where there is little political will to do.
In one recent case, a Tunisian man suspected of intentionally damaging at least 38 cars in Belgium was released by police and ordered to leave the country - but could not do so due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
The Belgian Immigration Office recently revealed that just 8.5 percent of migrants ordered to exit the country actually do.
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