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Summaries of EU Legislation

Readmission agreements with Eastern European countries

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Readmission agreements with Eastern European countries

These agreements aim to facilitate the return of illegal immigrants originating from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to their countries, and also illegal migrants who have transited through Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine before entering the EU.


Council Decision 2007/826/EC of 22 November 2007 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Moldova on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

Council Decision 2007/839/EC of 29 November 2007 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Ukraine on readmission of persons.

Council Decision 2011/118/EU of 18 January 2011 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and Georgia on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.


The purpose of the Agreements between the European Union (EU) and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (the ‘partner countries') is to establish rapid and effective reciprocal procedures for the identification and return of persons originating from these countries, residing without authorisation on the territory of an EU Member State.

These Agreements operate on total reciprocity and the same provisions apply to European citizens and, under certain conditions, to third-country nationals and stateless persons residing illegally in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Readmission obligations on the requested State

At the request of a Member State, partner countries must readmit on their territory all nationals who do not, or who no longer, fulfil the conditions for entry into or residence on the territory of the EU. This also applies if the person has been deprived of his/her nationality after entry into the EU, without acquiring that of a Member State.

Furthermore, Georgia and Moldova shall readmit, under certain conditions, the children of their nationals and their spouses of another nationality.

Each partner country also commits to readmit any third-country nationals or stateless person residing illegally in the EU if the person concerned:

  • holds a valid visa or residence permit issued by Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine;
  • has illegally and directly entered the territory of the Member State from Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine.

This obligation shall not apply if:

  • the concerned party has only been in airside transit via an international airport of one of the partner countries;
  • a Member State has issued to the party concerned a visa or residence permit, which has a longer period of validity than the document obtained by the person in Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine.

The Agreements detail the various means of proving the nationality of a person and their illegal entry onto the territory of the EU or its partner countries.

Readmission procedure

The Member State wishing to deport a person must present to the country concerned a readmission application containing the specific information detailed in the Agreements.

With regard to third-country nationals and stateless persons, the readmission application must be submitted to the competent authority of the State concerned within a maximum period of one year (Ukraine) or six months (Georgia and Moldova) after the Member State has become aware of the illegal situation of the person concerned.

A response to a readmission application must be received within at most fourteen days (Ukraine), twelve days (Georgia), or eleven days (Moldova). Under the accelerated procedure, a response must be provided within two days. Reasons must be given for a refusal.

Before a person is returned, arrangements in writing must be made in advance regarding the point of entry, possible escorts and other information relevant to the transfer. All means of transportation, whether by air, land or sea, are permitted.


All transport costs incurred as far as the border of the State of final destination are borne by the country deporting the person.


The readmission agreements form part of the EU’s strategy for combating illegal immigration. Several other agreements on readmission have been concluded between the EU and Russia, the countries of the western Balkans, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Hong Kong and Macao.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2007/826/EC



OJ L 334 of 19.12.2007

Decision 2007/839/EC



OJ L 332 of 18.12.2007

Decision 2011/118/EU



OJ L 52 of 25.2.2011

Last updated: 24.11.2011