Current Situation

Paradox

All parties examined in the research believe that increased cooperation could result in more efficient and effective reintegration programmes. Paradoxically, joint reintegration activities are however virtually non-existent.

When cooperation takes place, it is ad-hoc and through ‘pragmatic alliances’. Programmes are often duplicated. Governments of the countries of origin are scarcely involved; they leave this to the executing parties.

Causes

This has several causes. First of all, 93% of Return Fund goes to national programmes, allowing focus on short-term benefits and national interests instead of long-term objectives to come to a more integral approach. Member states furthermore lack common definitions and a shared vision on return. Some focus exclusively on the need to regulate unwanted migrants, while others include a development aim. Countries of origin are not actively involved since returnees from the EU are a relatively small problem compared to the large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons and returnees from bordering states.

The following parties participated in the research:

  • Seven EU member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden
  • Three countries of origin: Iraq, Georgia and Congo
  • The European Commission