Human Rights in the EU Return Policy: The Case of the EU-Albania Relations

In: European Journal of Migration and Law

Abstract

The examination of the approach of the EU return policy to Albania – a country to which the EU returns about one fifth of the total number of the third country nationals removed – demonstrates that the predominant focus of the EU return policy on the effectiveness and efficiency of returns has left little room for safeguarding the human rights of the returnees. The article finds that the return procedures of the readmission agreement that should guarantee the protection of human rights in the return process are not observed by the EU member states. There are insufficient guarantees that the reception and possible detention of returnees in Albania will offer a dignified treatment. Moreover, the readmission agreement opens the way for the return of asylum seekers to Albania in line with the ‘safe third country’ practice in the absence of conditions that ensure effective access to fair and efficient asylum procedures and protection in the country.

  • 4)

    Schieffer Martin 2003. Community Readmission Agreements with Third Countries – Objectives Substance and Current State of Negotiations European Journal of Migration and Law 5(3) pp. 343–357.

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    Cholewinski R. (2007). The criminalisation of migration in EU law and policy in: Whose Freedom Security and Justice? EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy A. Baldaccini E. Guild and H. Toner (Eds.) Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing pp. 301–336; Phuong C. (2007). Building a Community return policy with third countries: an equal partnership? in: Baldaccini et al. ibid. pp. 301–336; Bouteillet–Paquet D. 2003 Passing the Buck: A Critical Analysis of the Readmission Policy Implemented by the European Union and Its Member States European Journal of Migration and Law 5(3) pp. 359–377.

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    Phuongsupra note 13 p. 348; UNHCR UNHCR Position on the Proposal for a Directive on Common Standards and Procedures in Member States for Returning Illegally Staying Third-Country Nationals 16 June 2008 http://www.unhcr.org/protect. MEPs from the Socialist Group the Greens and the left all of whom refused to support the Directive stated that it breached EU human rights standards Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals A6-0339/2007 European Parliament 20.9.2007.

  • 17)

    European Councilsupra note 8 p. 31.

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    Billet Carole 2010EC Readmission Agreements: A Prime Instrument of the External dimension of the EU’s Fight against Irregular Immigration European Journal of Migration and Law 12(1) pp. 45–79; Trauner Florian and Kruse Imke 2008 EC Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements: A New Standard EU Foreign Policy Tool? European Journal of Migration and Law 10(4) pp. 411–438. Roig Annabelle and Huddleston Thomas 2007. EC Readmission Agreements: A Re-evaluation of the Political Impasse European Journal of Migration and Law 9(3) pp. 363–387. On returns to Albania see Kruse Imke 2006 EU Readmission Policy and its Effects on Transit Countries – The Case of Albania European Journal of Migration and Law 8(2) pp. 115–142.

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    EU Councilsupra note 22.

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    Schieffer Martin 2003Community Readmission Agreements with Third Countries – Objectives Substance and Current State of Negotiations European Journal of Migration and Law 5(3) pp. 343–357.

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    Dedja S. 2012The Working of EU Conditionality in the Area of Migration Policy. The Case of Readmission of Irregular Migrants to Albania East European Politics and Societies 26(1) pp. 115–134.

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    Interviews with DMR officials May 2009.

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    Krusesupra note 19.

  • 61)

    Schieffersupra note 29.

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    Bushati D. (2008). Albania Roadmap on Visa Liberalization European Movement Albania Report 15-10.

  • 65)

    Interviews with DMR officials May 2009.

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    Phuongsupra note 13 pp. 301–336.

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    Baldaccini A. (2007). The external dimension of the EU’s asylum and immigration policies in: A. Baldaccini E. Guild and H. Toner (Eds.) Whose Freedom Security and Justice? EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy (Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing) pp. 277–298.

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    Costello C. (2007). The asylum procedures directive in legal context: equivocal standards meet general principles in: Baldaccini et al. (Eds.) supra note 80 pp. 151–194.

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    Council of Ministers Decision Nr. 1102of 4.11.2009 ‘On health services for persons to whom asylum is granted and for persons who have applied for asylum in the Republic of Albania’ Official Journal of the Republic of Albania Nr 173 p. 7685 Tirana 16 December 2009. Instruction of the Minister of Education and Science no. 32 date 26.10.2009 ‘On the registration and evaluation of students to whom asylum is granted in the Republic of Albania’.

  • 105)

    In 200821116 million ALL were allocated by the State budget for asylum seekers and refugees while donation by UNHCR was 5 million ALL. However the allocation from the state budget is still not sufficient. For instance asylum-seekers legal representatives are still supported through the UNHCR budget. Albania’s First Readiness Report Visa Liberalisation Dialogue. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tirana May 2008.

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