This Synthesis Report was prepared on the basis of National Contributions from 22 EMN NCPs (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, United Kingdom) according to a Common Template developed by the EMN and followed by EMN NCPs to ensure, to the extent possible, comparability.
The return of illegally-staying third-country nationals is one of the main pillars of the EU’s policy on migration and asylum. However, recent Eurostat data show that return rates at EU level have not improved despite the important increase in the number of rejected asylum applications and in the number of return decisions issued since 2014. In its 2015 EU Action Plan on Return and subsequently in its 2017 Communication on a more effective return policy and the accompanying Recommendation, the Commission emphasised the need for a stronger enforcement of EU rules on return in order to increase the overall effectiveness of the EU’s return policy. The EMN conducted this study with the purpose of investigating good practices and challenges in Member States’ application of EU rules on return and equivalent standards.