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Parliamentary questions
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20 January 2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-010830/2015

Though no formal reply was sent by the Spanish Minister of Interior to Commissioner Malmström's letter from 24 October 2014, the Commission is in contact with the Spanish authorities on the situation at the external borders of Ceuta and Melilla and the situation is being closely monitored.

For the moment, it is not planned that Commissioner Avramopoulos will visit Ceuta and Mellila.

The Commission has analysed the compatibility of the ‘special procedure for Ceuta and Melilla’ with Directive 2008/115/EC (Return Directive) and more especially with the requirements listed in Article 4 (4) (b) of the directive. The safeguards contained in this ‘special procedure’ as regards international protection and the possibility to apply for international protection at the regular border crossing points are of critical importance.

In addition, the recent establishment at the borders in Ceuta and Melilla of offices where third-country nationals can lodge their request for asylum is considered by the Commission as a positive development in ensuring the respect of the principle of non-refoulement.

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