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Parliamentary question - E-002523/2013(ASW)Parliamentary question
E-002523/2013(ASW)

Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission

1. The Honourable Members is referred to the recent Commission report on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection (COM(2012) 528 of 20.9.2012) and the conclusions drawn therein.

2.-4. Article 16(4) of the Return Directive 2008/115/EC enshrined in law a right of relevant and competent national, international and non-governmental organisations and bodies to visit pre-removal detention facilities. Such visits may be subject to authorisation.

The objective of Article 16(4) is to allow NGOs to control the status of pre-removal detention of third-country nationals and its conformity to human rights independently of a concrete invitation from detainees. The right of Member States under Article 16(4) to make these visits ‘subject to authorisation’ is a procedural requirement, which must be applied by Member States in accordance with the ‘effet utile’ of the directive. Member State's repeated refusal to visit detention facilities without objective justification would therefore undermine NGOs right enshrined in Article 16(4) and could be considered as an infringement.

The Commission is currently assessing how Member States have transposed the provisions of Directive 2008/115/EC into their national legal orders. In this context, specific attention is also given to a proper transposition of Article 16(4). The Commission will present to the European Parliament and the Council a communication on Return by the end of 2013 and it will launch — if necessary — infringement procedures

OJ C 362 E, 12/12/2013