Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-06-17-Speech-2-015"

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"Mr President, I would like to start by offering my sincere congratulations to my colleague Mr Weber. This proposal for a directive is a strong and decisive step towards the common immigration policy that we need. The directive is an essential legal instrument for safeguarding the fundamental rights of immigrants and a prerequisite for making progress in regulating legal immigration. The proposal establishes the voluntary return of immigrants who are staying illegally in the Member States as a priority preferred objective, providing them with the necessary resources to ensure that they are returned to their countries in an appropriate way and at no cost to them. The alternative of forced return is considered as a last resort, and always with strict respect for fundamental rights. Legal and language assistance for immigrants and the opportunity to appeal against the return decision before a judicial or administrative body created for that purpose are examples of how the proposal has sought to make forced return subsidiary to voluntary return. Establishing a maximum detention period is an essential element of the directive. It is hard to understand how in the European Union today there can be places where immigrants can be detained indefinitely, but no Member State can use the directive to tighten up their immigration laws, especially with regard to detention periods. In addition, there is a clear distinction between return and asylum. Clear legal guarantees are established regarding the detention order. The new Article 15a establishes more and better conditions for minors and their families and, finally, the directive offers the possibility of the Court of Justice having competence in this field. For all these reasons, Mr President, and once again appreciating the efforts of the rapporteur, the Council and the Commission, I ask for the return directive to be supported."@en1

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