The Commission is today able to confirm that Greece is in the process of returning 308 irregular migrants to Turkey, as the European Union steps up its efforts to ensure that those who do not qualify for international protection in Europe will be quickly and effectively returned to their countries of origin or transit. The return of irregular migrants who have no right to stay in the EU to their home countries or to countries they transited through, in full respect of fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement, is an essential part of the EU's comprehensive efforts to address migration and in particular to reduce irregular migration.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Under the EU-Turkey joint action plan we agreed to accelerate return and readmission procedures with Turkey. The European Commission has reinforced its support for cooperation on return between EU Member States and Turkey and today's transfers of returnees from Greece to Turkey show that our efforts are starting to bear fruit. If we want to address the challenges of the refugee crisis successfully we need to get back to an orderly management of the migration flows: We have to make sure that those who are in need of protection will receive it, but it has to be clear as well that those who have no right to stay in the EU will be quickly and effectively returned."