Greece in the process of returning 308 irregular migrants to Turkey
Today, the Commission confirmed that Greece is in the process of returning 308 irregular migrants to Turkey, as the EU steps up its efforts to ensure that those who do not qualify for international protection will be quickly and effectively returned to their countries of origin or transit.
The return of irregular migrants who have no right to stay in the EU to their home countries or to countries they transited through, in full respect of fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement, is an essential part of the EU's comprehensive efforts to address migration and in particular to reduce irregular migration.
It is for this reason that stepping up the cooperation on returns with Turkey is one of the key priorities of the European Commission. Under the Joint EU-Turkey Action Plan, activated on 29 November, the EU and Turkey have committed to reinforcing cooperation on migration management.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said:
"Under the EU-Turkey joint action plan we agreed to accelerate return and readmission procedures with Turkey. The European Commission has reinforced its support for cooperation on return between EU Member States and Turkey and today's transfers of returnees from Greece to Turkey show that our efforts are starting to bear fruit. If we want to address the challenges of the refugee crisis successfully we need to get back to an orderly management of the migration flows: We have to make sure that those who are in need of protection will receive it, but it has to be clear as well that those who have no right to stay in the EU will be quickly and effectively returned."
For further information, please see the full press release.