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Parliamentary questions
19 December 2007
E-5364/2007
Answer given by Mr Michel on behalf of the Commission

Article 13 of the Cotonou Convention is a comprehensive text which includes commitments on several clusters of action: First, it deals with issues related to the migration and development nexus (root cause approach, job creation, training etc.). Secondly, it talks about issues related to social and employment policies (integration, non-discrimination, anti-racism etc.). The third element of Article 13 is that migration shall be the subject of ‘in-depth dialogue’ in the context of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)‑EU partnership, including on issues arising from illegal immigration. Finally, Article 13 contains a standard readmission clause, as well as the commitment to negotiate readmission agreements, if requested by one of the parties.

Article 16 of the Cotonou Agreement states that the Joint ACP-EC Committee of Ambassadors shall monitor the implementation of the Agreement. The Committee of Ambassadors comprises, inter alia, a representative of the Commission.

The Cotonou Convention is signed and ratified and effectively entered into force on 1 April 2003. The readmission obligations contained in Article 13(5)(c)(i) are directly applicable and do not, therefore, require activating measures.

Article 13(5)(c)(i) contains an obligation on the part of the ACP states to readmit ‘any of its nationals who are illegally present on the territory of a Member State of the European Union, at that Member State's request and without further formalities’. In practice this means that the competent authorities of a Member State which has established that a national of an ACP state is illegally present on its territory submits a readmission request to the authorities of the ACP state concerned.

The Commission does not have at its disposal the number of ACP nationals that may have been repatriated under this provision. However, in 2005 some 41 795 African nationals were repatriated to their country of origin, which were mostly non-ACP African countries. Around 25 % of this group originated from, and was readmitted by a country in sub Saharan Africa.

OJ C 191, 29/07/2008
Last updated: 8 January 2008Legal notice