Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Seventh Report

Appendix 4

Call for evidence

  Sub-Committee F (Social Affairs, Education and Home Affairs) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union is conducting an inquiry into illegal immigration. The basis of the inquiry is a Communication from the European Commission on a common policy on illegal immigration: Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on a Common Policy on illegal immigration (document 14239/01 Visa 135) .[117] Evidence is invited on all aspects of the Communication.

  The Communication identifies six areas for possible actions:

Visa policy: including the adoption of common visa lists, uniform visa and security standards, the creation of common administrative structures on the issuing of visas and the development of a European Visa Identification System.

Infrastructure for information exchange, co-operation and co-ordination: including the collection of statistics on illegal immigration, the gathering of information, intelligence and analysis, including the creation of a European Migration Observatory, and the development of an Early Warning System for the transmission of information on illegal immigration and facilitator networks.

Border management: including pre-frontier measures, such as the posting of liaison officers in countries of transit and origin, financial support of actions in third countries, and campaigns to raise awareness in the countries of origin; and a harmonised curriculum and common training for border guards leading eventually to the development of a European Border Guard.

Police co-operation: including the improvement of co-operation and co-ordination at the operational level and enhancing the role of Europol with more operative powers to enable it to work with national authorities to combat human trafficking and smuggling of human beings.

Aliens law and criminal law: including the criminalisation of human trafficking and smuggling, targeting the proceeds generated from these activities and imposing sanctions on carriers and employers of illegal immigrants.

Return and readmission policy: including the development of common principles (such as the priority of voluntary return over forced return) and common standards on expulsion, detention and deportation.

The Sub-Committee wishes to examine these issues broadly within their overall global context.

  The questions on which it would particularly welcome comments include the following:
(i)What are the economic effects of illegal immigration?
(ii)Is the Commission right in its assumption that illegal immigration has a serious internal security dimension?
(iii)Can EU co-operation with, and assistance to, third countries make a significant contribution to reducing illegal immigration?
(iv)Is there a need for further harmonisation of penal and financial sanctions for activities linked to illegal immigration?
(v)Should the UK Government participate in the new visa policy measures proposed?
(vi)Are standardisation of external border controls—and eventually a common European Border Guard—an effective means of reducing illegal immigration?
(vii)Should a "single technical support agency" be established for operational co-operation against illegal immigration?
(viii)Does Europol's role need to be extended to enable it to operate more effectively against illegal immigration?
(ix)How important are EU readmission arrangements with third countries for the reduction of illegal immigration. Is harmonisation of return procedures necessary for an effective EU policy on readmission?

117   Available on the Commission's web-site: Back

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