The Commission has adopted the multiannual programme under the European Return Fund 2008-2013 for Malta for an estimated amount of € 5 million, together with the first annual programme (2008).
Vice President Jacques BARROT i in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, welcomed the adoption of the multiannual programme for the implementation of the European Return Fund for Malta. "With the approval of this multiannual programme, Malta shows its commitment to improving return management in full compliance with fundamental rights. Facing strong migratory pressure, Malta will implement activities increasing the number of persons returning through national as well as joint actions in co-operation with other Member States."
Malta has chosen to implement all four of the Fund's strategic priorities:
-Development of a strategic approach to return management;
-Cooperation between Member States in return management;
-Specific innovative (inter)national tools for return management;
-Support for Community standards and best practices on return management.
Among the projects financed in the 2008 annual programme in Malta are:
-Promoting sustainable voluntary return by offering tailor-made assistance, counseling, information and reintegration packages to returnees;
-Forced return operations of illegally staying third-country nationals.
The European Return Fund is one of the four financial instruments of the General Programme on "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" which encourages a fair share of responsibilities between Member States arising from the introduction of integrated management of the external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration. The other three Funds are: the European Fund for the Integration of Third country nationals, the External Borders Fund and the European Refugee Fund.
The European Return Fund establishes a financial solidarity mechanism to support the efforts of Member States to improve the management of return in all its dimensions through the use of the concept of integrated return management, with a preference to voluntary return and with a view to supporting a fair and effective implementation of common standards on return. The Fund will also support joint return actions including several Member States.
The overall budget of this Fund for 2008-2013 is € 676 million, distributed as follows:
-€ 632,9 million distributed among Member States on the basis of objective criteria, i.e. the number of third country nationals subject or having been subject to return measures;
-€ 43,1 million (7% of the total annual resources each year as from 2009) directly managed by the Commission and dedicated to Community actions.
For more information on the activities of Vice-President Barrot, please see: