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The EU is considering visa bans for African countries to repatriate migrants

BRUSSELS (AP) – EU ministers on Monday discussed ways to persuade North African countries to repatriate migrants who have been rejected by the 27-nation bloc as the EU says it makes it harder for those not cooperating on European visas.

Migrants arriving in Europe without permission regularly lose or destroy their identity documents or use fake papers, making it difficult to find out where they came from and send them home. Sometimes the countries where they live or move do not want to take them back.

“We must work for safe, equitable and regular migration. “We need to create incentives for third countries to accept people who have to return and create a flow of regular migration,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, has compiled a list of 39 countries cooperating in the readmission of their citizens. The foreign ministers met on Monday to discuss a list of “incentives” that could be used to promote compliance.

“It’s time to move on. “We urgently need to reach an agreement on a limited number of countries that we need to focus on and set a timetable,” said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ilva Johansson on Friday, speaking separately with the interior ministers.

Johansson declined to name the countries on the list that could be the worst offenders.

“If we do not make enough progress, I am ready to submit proposals to the (European) Council this summer to impose visa restrictions,” he said, adding that if they cooperate well, “we are also ready to make proposals for a more generous visa policy. »:

The focus on visa restrictions is part of a review of the European Commission’s émigration’s migration policy, unveiled in September, aimed at ensuring that more migrants enter Europe.

According to the EU Visa Code, the European Commission assesses at least once a year the extent to which countries cooperate in the readmission of their citizens. EU member states can also notify the executive body of any “significant” persistent practical problems “with any country, giving a different assessment.

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