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Immigration: EC Action

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the outcomes for the UK of the European Return Preparatory Actions 2005-06; and if she will make a statement. (196309)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: In 2005 the European Community funded a total of 16 projects under the RETURN 2005 programme. The UK was partner in four of these projects working with 12 other member states and one non-governmental organisation.

In 2006 the European Community funded a total of 20 projects under the RETURN 2006 programme. The UK was partner in five of these projects working with seven other member states and two non-governmental organisations.

The projects we have participated in have not yet been fully evaluated, however we have mostly supported assisted voluntary return which we consider very important in the UK. Reintegration assistance helps break the cycle of migration; meaning return is more sustainable for individuals and families, and contributes indirectly to communities in the country of origin. We have also gained expertise from working with other countries on these projects.