DATE: July 6, 2015
Marie-Christine Vergiat, Tanja Fajon, Dennis de Jong, Nathalie Griesbeck, Cecilia Wikström, Martina Anderson, Ernst Cornelia, Barbara Spinelli, Kostas Chrysogonos; Jean Lambert; Ulrike Lunacek, Malin Björk
SUBJECT: Lenght of administrative detention
The directives “Return” (2008/115/CE) and “Reception” (2013/33/UE) state that foreigners and asylum seekers may be detained only in exceptional circumstances, for the shortest time possible, according to the principle that detention is only an exception to the fundamental right to freedom.
In its Communication on return policy (28.3.2014), the Commission (EC) noted that 12 Member States (MS) decreased the legal detention time limit. However, if compared to the total number of detainees, this decrease affects less than 10% of them.
In some MS, as Cyprus and Belgium, foreigners are kept in detention, despite the lack of reasonable prospects of removal. The detention period of some of them may be extended beyond the legal time limit (Belgium) or indefinitely (Greece) in violation of the provisions of above-mentioned directives.
1) Isn’it necessary, according to the EC, to make compulsory for all MS the publication, at least annually, of average, cumulated and prolonged lengths of detention by category of detainees (woman, man, child, asylum seeker etc.), including awaiting for removal?
2) What concrete measures does the EC plans to take to end the excessive detention periods observed in some MS and constituting a risk of inhuman and degrading treatment?