EU Threatens to Punish Non-Member States Who Refuse to Take Deported Migrants

MELILLA, SPAIN - APRIL 02: African refugees are reflected in a sign of the European Union inside the Ferry Terminal of Melilla on the north African Spanish enclave of Melilla while boarding a cruise ship which is heading to Malage, the spanish mainland, on April 2, 2014, in Melilla, Spain. …
Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

The European Union has threatened countries with limiting the issue of work and travel visas if they refuse to take back failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants.

The European Commission announced on Tuesday that it would be looking to enact tougher measures on countries which do not cooperate with the deportation procedures, Reuters reports.

The new proposal is said to come in two stages. The first would see visa restrictions for elites within countries that refused to take back failed asylum seekers. Those travelling on diplomatic passports would feel the brunt of the first step.

If the countries continue to refuse to cooperate for a period of three months, then the second step would see regular citizens have their visa approvals denied.

Member states within the political bloc would forward deportation problems to the EU Commission directly in order to trigger the programme.

The programme would likely be of great benefit to states like Germany where deportations to some countries, especially those in North Africa, have proven incredibly difficult.

In 2017, only 368 of 8,000 rejected North African migrants were deported from Germany due to multiple factors including lack of proper identification and a lack of cooperation from the origin countries.

Germany has also faced internal problems regarding deportations as well as many German regions with left-wing coalition governments have outright refused to cooperate with federal government deportations to countries like Afghanistan which they deem unsafe.

The EU has also used the prospect of visa liberalisation to affect change on migrant issues. As part of the EU-Turkey migrant deal, the political bloc promised visa-free access for Turkish citizens. As recently as November, the union reaffirmed its commitment to opening the borders to the country’s 75 million residents.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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