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Parliamentary questions
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15 February 2018
E-000958-18
Question for written answer E-000958-18
to the Council
Rule 130
Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Agreement between the EU and Ethiopia on return procedures
 Answer in writing 

On 29 January 2018, the Council approved procedures for returning Ethiopians to their country of origin(1). Neither the Council nor the Commission published the text, so that the European Parliament was compelled to base its assessment on a leaked version(2). That version makes it clear that the return procedures are applicable to both voluntary and enforced return.

1. Section 1(1) of the admission procedure document states that the procedure does not have the status of an international agreement and is not intended to create any rights. Can the Council explain why a procedure that it has officially adopted for cooperation with a third country does not have the status of an international agreement?

2. What does the Council intend to do to mitigate potential risks(3) arising from the transfer of information concerning people illegally resident in the EU who may be Ethiopian nationals to the Ethiopian NISS (National Intelligence and Security Services) and arising from the admission of Ethiopian missions with the aim of identifying Ethiopians?

3. In view of the fact that, during the negotiations on the political declaration at the last EU-AU Summit,(4) no agreement was reached on the subject of enforced returns, and in view of the final text, which only refers to ‘voluntary return’, how does the Council explain the sudden cooperative attitude of Ethiopia over enforced returns?

(1)http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/32564/st05710-en18.pdf
(2)http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jan/eu-council-regugees-return-ethiopians-15762-17.pdf
(3)https://euobserver.com/migration/140614
(4)https://www.euractiv.com/section/africa/news/eu-africa-summit-conclusions-blocked-over-forced-return-of-migrants

Original language of question: NL 
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