Publication by Talha Gunay on the implications of the proposed solidarity mechanism on the EU return system
Talha Gunay has recently authored a policy brief for the Horizon 2020 project, MIGNEX. The brief acknowledges the relocation of returnees as a potentially viable solidarity tool, provided that it is implemented with effective monitoring and that the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers or cancellation of Dublin transfers are the primary and preferred options.
The return of irregular migrants is the talk of the town. It is difficult nowadays to read an EU policy document on migration without coming across a reference to the necessity of “effective” returns for the functioning of the EU migration and asylum policy. On 8 June 2023, the Council agreed on its negotiating position on two of the legislative proposals in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum concerning the EU return system; the rules regarding the new return border procedure and those setting out the relocation of returnees as a form of solidarity contribution among EU Member States.
The new solidarity mechanism creates a system of mandatory yet à la carte solidarity, with supporting Member States being able to choose between relocations (of asylum seekers, refugees or returnees), financial support, and operational support to offset the pressure that the Member States face with high numbers of irregular arrivals.
The policy brief suggests effective and independent monitoring for the mutual recognition of return decisions throughout the relocation of returnees to ensure fundamental rights compliance, questions the prioritization of physical transfer of returnees to supporting Member States over cancelling Dublin transfers for its practicality, and proposes that relocation of returnees is placed as a secondary-level solidarity tool to be employed in case mandatory relocation of asylum seekers or cancellation of Dublin transfers is not met by Member States at a sufficient level.