EU to ease visa requirements to help migrants’ repatriation from Libya, elsewhere

EU says migrants centers must be closed in Libya. [Photo: Internet]
The European Commission has reiterated that its position on migrant detention centers in Libya has remained unchanged and that the facilities must be closed.

The European Commission’s spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the European Commission’s position on migrant detention centers in Libya ”is clear and has not changed: they must be closed.”

Kocijancic said the European Commission is working to ensure that migrants’ rights are respected together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. 

Kocijancic was responding to questions on EU funding to the center of Qasir Binghashir, south of Tripoli, after an article published by the Times last week said migrants endure ”inhuman” conditions at the camp where thousands desperate for a better life in Europe are instead finding themselves incarcerated in a ”living hell.”

We are doing everything to ensure that what we do” is in line with the ”Union’s rules and policy,” the spokesperson continued, saying that delegates in Libya and Tunis work to make sure that things get done ”in an adequate manner.” She added. 

The EU’s visa policy will be used to obtain more migrant repatriations.

The EU Council’s update of the visa code regulation will contribute to improving cooperation with third countries on readmission by introducing a new mechanism for using visa processing as leverage, according to a statement. 

Under this mechanism, the European Commission will regularly assess third countries’ cooperation on readmission. Where a country is not cooperating, the Commission will propose that the Council adopt a decision implementing specific restrictive visa measures related to visa processing and, eventually, to the visa fee, the statement said. 

If a country is found to be cooperating on readmission, the Commission may propose that the Council adopt a decision to reduce the visa fee, cut back on the time to decide on visa applications, or increase the period of validity of multiple entry visas, the statement concluded.

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