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Strasbourg, 16 December 2015
Dear President, Honourable Members,
The Commission fully shares with the Parliament the objective of ensuring full compliance of our policies with human rights and human dignity.
This was at the centre of the debate on the report just discussed some minutes ago, on human rights and democracy.
This is a key concern also when it comes to asylum seekers.
Saying this, I turn now to the topic of the statement "Detention and use of force against asylum-seekers".
The rights to liberty and security of person are fundamental human rights.
The right to asylum is also a fundamental right.
In past months we have put a lot of effort to communicate and deliver on all fronts that EU legislation has to be respected.
And this means respect of all aspects of the asylum legislation.
In this context as long as there was a prior non-refoulement and proportionality check – countries can refuse entry to individuals who do not express a wish to apply for international protection.
As you also know, we make efforts to ensure the proper registration of migrants, (irrespective of their status) which is the precondition to appropriately managing the flows and setting the rights and duties of migrants.
Let me clarify what EU law requires:
With the recast Directives on Asylum, adopted in co-decision, the EU-acquis contains clear rules on detention of asylum seekers that strike the balance between those rights.
It is therefore essential that persons are only detained in full compliance with these rules.
Detention can only be applied as a measure of last resortand only after all alternatives to detention have been duly considered.
We all agree that a person should never be detained for the that he or she is an asylum seeker.
At the same time, when there is a Member State should place a migrant in detention where that is necessary and proportionate.
Moreover, the directive on reception condition provides that of asylum seekers must.
Having a solid legal framework is only half way through.
The challenge now is to ensure a correct and coherent transposition and implementation of these rules.
The Commission monitors closely the respect by Member States of the EU rules on detention.
Member States had to transpose the Reception Conditions Directive by July 2015.
The Commission has sent letters of formal notice to those Member States which did not communicate the transposition measures.
In addition to legislation, the Commission pays attention also to Member States practice in this area.
The Commission has also provided guidance to Member States to facilitate systematic fingerprinting of migrants.
The aim is to ensure a better management of migration flows via a better implementation of the Eurodac Regulation while fully respecting the fundamental rights of the migrants.