The European Commission adopted on 23 February a Communication evaluating the implementation of the EU Readmission Agreements already in force and assessing the ongoing readmission negotiations. The Commission makes several recommendations for a renewed EU readmission policy, which include some ideas for improving the safeguards of fundamental rights of returnees.
Readmission Agreements set out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of the third country and of EU Member States, as to when and how to take back people who are irregularly residing on their territories. They are in principle technical instruments aiming to improve cooperation between administrations and which only intervene after the final return decision is made by the competent authority of the Member State concerned.
A readmission procedure can therefore only be initiated after a return decision has been made in accordance with certain procedural guarantees (legal representation, judicial review, respect of 'non-refoulement'). In the EU, minimum standards for those guarantees were set by the Return Directive and the relevant EU asylum acquis (Asylum Procedures Directive).