Evaluation of the EU Immigration Liaison Officers Regulation

Evaluation of the EU Immigration Liaison Officers Regulation

Ecorys conducted the external evaluation of the EU Regulation on the creation of an immigration liaison officers (ILO) network.

ILO officers are representatives of the EU Member States, posted in a non-EU country in order to facilitate the measures taken by the EU to prevent irregular immigration. The objective of the regulation was to pool Member State resources and to enable ILOs in a particular region or non-EU country to liaise with each other. The 2015 EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling highlighted the need for an evaluation and possible revision of the regulation. The new realities in the area of migration highlighted the need for a common framework and clear mandates for staff posted either from the EU or from Member States in non-EU countries to prevent irregular migration and counter migrant smuggling. A revision of the regulation would enhance the EU’s ability to collect and share relevant information necessary to prevent irregular migration and counter related criminal activities, notably migrant smuggling. The evaluation was primarily based on a process of targeted consultations of ILOs posted in Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Egypt, Ethiopia, South-Africa, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, China and the Western Balkans, as well as via a survey among all ILO’s and their European back offices.

Following recommendations from our external evaluation, the European Commission proposed to revise the ILO Regulation. The objective of the revision is to improve coordination and exchange of information horizontally between liaison officers deployed in same host country and vertically between the liaison officers to their back offices, the EU institutions and EU Agencies. One of the proposals is to establish a Steering Board composed of the Commission, Member State ILO back offices and the relevant EU Agencies, but also to terminate obsolete reporting requirements, thus contributing to burden reduction and simplification.

8 February 2019

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