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Rabat process

A regional process that was launched with a ministerial conference in Rabat in July 2006, which set up a framework for comprehensive action on migration and development with Western Africa.

Source: Communication COM(2008) 611 final


Individuals or groups becoming intolerant with regard to basic democratic values like equality and diversity, as well as a rising propensity towards using means of force to reach political goals that negate and/or undermine democracy.

Source: Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA

Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN)

RAN is an umbrella network established to connect communities and local actors involved in countering radicalisation and violent extremism. It is a unique tool authorising practitioners' groups from different EU States to meet, each in their area of expertise, in order to exchange best practices, experiences and results in countering radicalisation and violent extremism. The outcomes of RAN are reported back to policy makers both at the EU and EU State level.

Source: DG Home Affairs

Rapid alert system

Networks that usually consist of an information exchange network on a “round the clock communication basis” receiving and triggering an alert and forwarding information to and from EU States with the aim of responding quickly and efficiently to emergencies.

Source: Communication COM(2004) 701 final

Rapid Border Intervention Team (RABIT) (now covered by the term European Border Guard Team)

A mechanism for the purposes of providing rapid operational assistance for a limited period to a requesting EU State facing a situation of urgent and exceptional pressure, especially the arrival at points of the external EU borders of large numbers of non-EU nationals trying to enter the territory of the EU State irregularly.

Source: Council Regulation (EC) 863/2007

Reaction capability

In the context of border surveillance, the ability to perform actions aimed at countering irregular cross-border activities at, along or in the proximity of the external borders, including the means and timelines to react adequately.

Source: Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013


Act by a State accepting the re-entry of an individual (own national, third-country national or stateless person).

Source: International Organization for Migration

Readmission agreement

International agreement that addresses procedures, on a reciprocal basis, for one State to return non-nationals in an irregular situation to their home State or a State through which they have transited.

Source: International Organization for Migration

Reception conditions

The full set of measures that EU States grant to asylum seekers in accordance with Directive 2013/33/EU.

Source: Directive 2013/33/EU. The definition is the same in all EU asylum directives/regulations (APD, Dublin)

Reflection period

Period of time that EU States grant to non-EU nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or of action to facilitate irregular immigration in order to allow them to recover and escape the influence of the perpetrators of the offences so that they can take an informed decision as to whether to cooperate with the competent authorities.

Source: Directive 2004/81/EC


The return by a State, in any manner whatsoever, of an individual to the territory of another State in which he or she may be persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; or would run the risk of torture. Refoulement includes any action having the effect of returning the individual to a State, including expulsion, deportation, extradition, rejection at the frontier, extra-territorial interception and physical return.

Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


A person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him-/herself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his/her former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

Source: Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

Refugee status

The recognition by an EU State of a non-EU national or stateless person as a refugee.

Source: Council Directive 2004/83/EC

Regional Protection Programme

Designed to enhance the protection capacity of the regions involved - both regions of origin and transit - and to improve refugee protection through durable solutions (return, local integration or resettlement in a non-EU country).

Source: Communication COM(2005) 388 final


Re-inclusion or re-incorporation of a person into a group or a process, e.g. of a migrant into the society of his/her country of origin or habitual residence.

Source: International Organization for Migration


The transfer of persons having a status defined by the Geneva Convention or subsidiary protection within the meaning of Directive 2011/95/EC from the EU State which granted them international protection to another EU State where they will be granted similar protection and of persons having applied for international protection from the EU State which is responsible for examining their application to another EU State where their applications for international protection will be examined.

Source: DG Home Affairs


All financial transfers from migrants to beneficiaries in their countries of origin.

Source: Communication COM(2005) 390 final


The enforcement of the obligation to return, namely the physical transportation out of the country.

Source: Directive 2008/115/EC


A non-EU national holding an appropriate higher education qualification, which gives access to doctoral programmes, who is selected by a research organisation for carrying out a research project for which the above qualification is normally required.

Source: Council Directive 2005/71/EC


The transfer of refugees from the country in which they have sought refuge to another State that has agreed to admit them. The refugees will usually be granted asylum or some other form of long-term resident rights and, in many cases, will have the opportunity to become naturalised citizens. For this reason, resettlement is a durable solution as well as a tool for the protection of refugees. It is also a practical example of international burden- and responsibility-sharing.

According to Decision 573/2007/EC, "resettlement" means the process whereby, on a request from UNHCR based on a person's need for international protection, non-EU nationals or stateless persons are transferred from a non-EU country to an EU State where they are permitted to reside with one of the following statuses:

  • refugee status within the meaning of Directive 2011/95/EC,
  • a status that offers the same rights and benefits under national and EU law as refugee status.

Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , Decision No 573/2007/EC

Resettlement Programme

Voluntary programmes through which EU States aim to provide international protection and a durable solution in their territories to refugees and displaced persons identified as eligible for resettlement by UNHCR, and that include actions the EU States implement to assess the resettlement needs and transfer the persons concerned to their territories, with a view to granting them a secure legal status and to promoting their effective integration.

Source: Decision No 573/2007/EC

Residence permit

Any authorisation issued by the authorities of an EU State allowing a non-EU national to stay legally in its territory, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 265/2010 amending the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreements and Regulation 562/2006 as regards movement of persons with a long-stay visa.

Source: Regulation (EU) No 265/2010


In a general sense, the act or process of going back to the point of departure. This could be within the territorial boundaries of a country, as in the case of returning internally displaced persons (IDPs) and demobilised combatants, or between a host country (either transit or destination) and a country of origin, as in the case of migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers and qualified nationals. There are subcategories of return that can describe the way the return is implemented, e.g. voluntary, forced, assisted and spontaneous return, as well as sub-categories that describe who is participating in the return, e.g. repatriation (for refugees).

According to Directive 2008/115/EC, "return" means the process of a non-EU national going back - whether in voluntary compliance with an obligation to return, or enforced - to:

  • his or her country of origin,
  • a country of transit in accordance with EU or bilateral readmission agreements or other arrangements,
  • another non-EU country, to which the non-EU national concerned voluntarily decides to return and in which he or she will be accepted.

Source: International Organization for Migration , Directive 2008/115/EC

Return decision

An administrative or judicial decision or act stating or declaring the stay of a non-EU national to be illegal and imposing or stating an obligation to return.

Source: Directive 2008/115/EC

Return Programme

Programme to support (e.g. financial, organisational, counselling) the return, possibly including reintegration measures, of a returnee by the State or by a third party, for example an international organisation.

Source: European Migration Network


A non-EU national migrant who moves to a country of return, whether voluntary or forced.

Source: European Migration Network

Right to freedom of movement

A fundamental right of every citizen of an EU State or another European Economic Area (EEA) State or Switzerland to freely move, reside and work within the territory of these States.

Source: Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

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