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Immigration liaison officers’ network

Immigration liaison officers’ network

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2019/1240 — creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

EU migration policy aims to replace irregular and uncontrolled migration with migration that is safe and well-managed, through a comprehensive approach aimed at ensuring efficient migration management.

The regulation lays down rules aiming to ensure good cooperation, coordination and exchange of information among immigration liaison officers* deployed to non-EU countries by EU countries, the European Commission and EU agencies, through a European network of immigration liaison officers.

KEY POINTS

The regulation creates a European network of immigration liaison officers to assist in better migration management in order to meet the following EU priorities:

  • preventing and combating illegal immigration and related cross-border crime, such as migrant smuggling and human trafficking;
  • carrying out dignified and effective return*, readmission* and reintegration*;
  • managing legal immigration, including international protection, resettlement, admission procedures and pre-departure integration measures taken by EU countries and the EU.

Local or regional networks of immigration liaison officers

Immigration liaison officers, deployed to the same countries or regions, constitute local or regional cooperation networks. Where necessary and appropriate, they will:

  • share information and practical experience, including through regular meetings and a secure web-based information exchange platform;
  • share information regarding access to international protection;
  • coordinate positions on contacts with commercial carriers;
  • attend joint specialised training courses, including on fundamental rights, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, document fraud and access to international protection in non-EU countries;
  • organise information sessions and training courses for diplomatic and consular staff on missions in non-EU countries;
  • adopt common approaches on methods for collecting and reporting strategically relevant information, including risk analyses;
  • set up regular contacts with similar networks in the non-EU country and in neighbouring countries.

Tasks of immigration liaison officers

Liaison officers collect information, at operational or strategic level, or both, on:

  • migration routes;
  • the existence of criminal organisations involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking along migration routes;
  • the methods used to forge or falsify identity documents;
  • ways to facilitate return, readmission and reintegration;
  • measures to guarantee effective access to protection put in place by non-EU countries, including for the benefit of vulnerable persons;
  • existing and possible future legal immigration strategies and channels between the EU and non-EU countries.

Liaison officers can also provide assistance to authorities and other people involved in non-EU countries in the following areas:

  • establishing the identity and nationality of non-EU nationals and facilitating their return, and helping in reintegration;
  • identifying persons in need of international protection to facilitate resettlement in the EU, in particular by providing pre-departure information and support where possible;
  • confirming the identity of legal immigrants and facilitating national and EU measures for their admission;
  • sharing information within networks of liaison officers and with competent EU national authorities, including law enforcement, to prevent and detect illegal immigration and combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Measures taken by immigration liaison officers, in particular in cases involving vulnerable people, should respect fundamental rights in accordance with relevant international and EU law, including Article 2 and Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Steering Board

  • A Steering Board at EU level is set up to strengthen the management of the network and the coordination of immigration liaison officers, while respecting the existing chain of command and reporting lines between immigration liaison officers and their respective deploying authorities, and among immigration liaison officers themselves.
  • The Steering Board comprises one representative from each EU country, two from the Commission, and one each from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (also known as Frontex), Europol, and the European Asylum Support Office. Schengen-associated countries will appoint one representative each as members without voting rights.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 14 August 2019. Regulation (EU) 2019/1240 revised and replaced Regulation (EC) No 377/2004 and its subsequent amendments.

BACKGROUND

KEY TERMS

Immigration liaison officer: an officer designated and deployed in a non-EU country, by the competent authorities of an EU country, or by the Commission or by an EU agency, in accordance with their respective laws, to deal with immigration-related issues, including when that is only a part of their duties.
Return: the movement of a person going from a host country back to a country of origin, country of nationality or habitual residence usually after spending a significant period of time in the host country whether voluntary or forced, assisted or spontaneous.
Readmission: act by a country accepting the re-entry of an individual (own national, a non-national of that country or a stateless person).
Reintegration: re-inclusion or re-incorporation of a person into a group or a process, e.g. of a migrant into the society of their country of return.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) 2019/1240 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers (recast) (OJ L 198, 25.7.2019, pp. 88-104)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ L 295, 14.11.2019, pp. 1-131)

Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2016 on the European Border and Coast Guard and amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 and Council Decision 2005/267/EC (OJ L 251, 16.9.2016, pp. 1-76)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Title I — Common provisions — Article 2 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 17)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Title I — Common provisions — Article 6 (ex Article 6 TEU) (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 19)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — A European Agenda on Migration (COM(2015) 240 final, 13.5.2015)

Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 establishing the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) (OJ L 295, 6.11.2013, pp. 11-26)

Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 60-95)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (COM(2011) 743 final, 18.11.2011)

Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (OJ L 348, 24.12.2008, pp. 98-107)

Council Regulation (EC) No 377/2004 of 19 February 2004 on the creation of an immigration liaison officers network (OJ L 64, 2.3.2004, pp. 1-4)

See consolidated version.

last update 17.01.2020

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