|One of the measures proposed in the common EU strategy of 11 December 1999 on Ukraine, was the conclusion of a readmission agreement with this country.
This agreement establishes, on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for the identification and return of persons who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry to and stay in the territory of Ukraine or one of the Member States, and to facilitate the transit of such persons in a spirit of cooperation. The agreement will not apply to the territory of Denmark.
- The Agreement is divided into 7 sections with 21 articles altogether. It also contains 8 annexes, which form an integral part of it, 4 joint declarations and 1 unilateral declaration by Ukraine.
- The readmission obligations set out in the Agreement (Articles 2 to 4) are drawn up in a fully reciprocal way, comprising own nationals (Article 2) as well as third country nationals and stateless persons (Article 3) and 'readmission in error' (Article 4).
- The obligation to readmit own nationals (Article 2) includes also former own nationals who have renounced their nationality without acquiring the nationality or a residence authorisation of another State. In addition, Articles 2 is supplemented by a joint declaration concerning the deprivation of nationality.
- The obligation to readmit third country nationals and stateless persons (Article 3) is linked to the following prerequisites: (a) the person concerned held at the time of entry a valid visa issued by the requested State and has entered directly from this State’s territory, or (b) the person concerned held at the time of entry a valid residence authorisation issued by the requested State, or (c) the person concerned illegally entered the territory of the requesting State directly from the territory of the requested State. Exempted from these obligations are persons in airside transit and all persons to whom the requesting State has either granted visa-free access or issued a visa or residence authorisation with a longer period of validity.
- In return for Ukraine agreeing to the aforementioned obligation regarding the readmission of third-country nationals and stateless persons (Article 3), the European Community agreed to delay for 2 years after the entry into force of the Agreement the applicability of these obligations (Article 20 para. 3). During that two-year transitional period, Article 3 of the Agreement shall only become applicable to stateless persons and nationals from third-countries with which Ukraine has concluded bilateral treaties or arrangements on readmission. Moreover, during that two-year transitional period, the provisions in existing bilateral agreements or arrangements concluded between individual Member States and Ukraine concerning readmission of stateless persons and third country nationals shall continue to apply (Article 17 para. 2).
- With regard to third-country nationals and stateless persons for whom it has given a positive reply to the readmission application, Ukraine accepts the use of the EU's standard travel document for expulsion purposes (Article 3 para. 4).
- The Agreement contains a section on transit operations (Articles 10 and 11 in conj. with annex 6).
- Section III of the Agreement (Articles 6 to 9 in conj. with annexes 1 to 5) contains the necessary technical provisions regarding the readmission procedure (readmission application, means of evidence, time limits, transfer modalities and modes of transportation). Some procedural flexibility is provided by the fact that no readmission will be needed in cases where the person to be readmitted is in possession of a valid national passport and, if he or she is a third-country national, also holds a valid visa or residence authorisation of the State which has to readmit him or her (Article 5 para. 2). In its paragraph 3, Article 5 contains another important procedural element, the so-called accelerated procedure, which has been agreed upon for persons apprehended in the “border region”, i.e. within an area which extends up to 30 kilometres from the common land border between a Member State and Ukraine or within the territories of seaports and International airports of Member States or Ukraine. Under the accelerated procedure, readmission applications have to be submitted, and replies have to be given, within 2 working days whereas under the normal procedure, the time limit for replies is 14 calendar days with the right to an extension of up to 30 calendar days in duly motivated cases.
- Articles 12 to 14 contain the necessary rules on costs, data protection and the relation to other International obligations.
- The Joint Readmission Committee will be composed, and have the tasks and powers, as set out in Article 15.
- In order to execute this Agreement in practice, Article 16 creates the possibility for Ukraine and individual Member States to conclude bilateral implementing Protocols.
The relation between the bilateral implementing Protocols and this Agreement is clarified by Article 17 para. 1.
- The final provisions (Articles 18 to 21) contain the necessary rules on entry into force, duration, possible amendments, termination and the legal status of the annexes to the agreement.
- The specific situation of Denmark is reflected in the preamble, Article 1 lit. b),
Article 18 para. 2 and in a joint declaration attached to the Agreement. The close association of Norway and Iceland to the implementation, application and development of the Schengen Acquis is likewise reflected in a joint declaration to the Agreemen|