Brussels, 22 January 2009
The Commission has adopted the multiannual programme under the European Return Fund 2008-2013 for Latvia for an estimated amount of € 3 million, together with the first annual programme (2008).
Vice President Jacques BARROT in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, welcomed the adoption of the multiannual programme for the implementation of the European Return Fund. "With the approval of this multiannual programme, Latvia has shown its commitment towards developing an integrated and balanced system of return management. Latvia will also step up efforts to cooperate and share best practices with other Member States and to improve the qualifications of its staff working in the management of return."
Latvia has chosen to implement three of the Fund's four strategic priorities:
Among the projects financed in the 2008 annual programme in Latvia are:
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: