EU Commissioner: Fewer Than One Third of Bogus Asylum Seekers Go Back Voluntarily

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European Commissioner for Migration Ylva Johansson admitted that just a third of bogus, rejected asylum seekers return to their home countries — and less than a third go voluntarily.

The figures released earlier this week showed that around 70 per cent of illegitimate asylum applicants manage to stay in the European Union despite their claims being rejected.

“When it comes to how [EU] member-states can improve the process, they must ensure that a refusal decision comes at the same time as a return decision,” Ms Johansson said following the report’s publication, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.

“The right to seek asylum is fundamental. People have the right to have their case heard. But we also must have a functioning return system. And that’s why I’m putting so much focus right now on returns,” Johansson claimed.

The report revealed that in 2020, despite the Wuhan virus pandemic and travel restrictions implemented by many countries, a total of 110,000 immigrants entered the European Union illegally.

While Greece saw a dramatic decline in asylum seekers in 2020, Italy saw a steady flow of migrants under the post-Salvini government, particularly to the island of Lampedusa in the summer months.

Spain, specifically the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa, saw the largest increase last year, with the islands seeing a record 8,000 migrants land illegally in November alone.

Voluntary repatriation, accompanied by resettlement assistance, has been offered by many countries in recent years, but the number of migrants who have embraced the various schemes EU member-states have offered is limited.

Last year, Greece began offering asylum seekers on overwhelmed islands in the Aegean 2,000 euros to return to their own countries. Weeks later, around 130 migrants accepted the offer and boarded flights back to Iraq.

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


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