Share this post
The growing and worrying flux of migrants in the countries of the European Union has generated the need to provide new legislation which would guarantee the collaboration between member States in order to ensure the regulation of illegal immigrants and to prevent, as far as possible, human trafficking.
A series of rules to strengthen cooperation and coordination between immigration liaison officers deployed in third countries by Member States, the Commission and Union agencies through the creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers has been established pursuant to EU Regulation 2019/1240 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20th June 2019.
Tasks of immigration liaison officers
The immigration liason officers
(i) shall carry out their tasks within the framework of their responsibilities determined by the deploying authorities and in accordance with the provisions, including those on the protection of personal data.
(ii) shall carry out their tasks in accordance with fundamental rights as general principles of Union law as well as international law, including human rights obligations. They shall have particular consideration for vulnerable persons and take into account the gender dimension of migration flows.
(iii) shall collect information, for use either at operational level, strategic level, or both.
(iv) shall coordinate among themselves and with relevant interested parties regarding the provision of their capacity-building activities to authorities and other interested parties in third countries.
(v) may render assistance, taking into account their expertise and training, in:
(a) establishing the identity and nationality of third-country nationals in an illegal situation and facilitating their return, as well as assisting with their reintegration, where relevant and possible;
(b) confirming the identity of persons in need of international protection for the purposes of facilitating their resettlement in the Union.
(c) confirming identity and facilitating implementation of Union and national measures in respect of the admission of legal immigrants;
(d) sharing information obtained in the course of their duties within the networks of immigration liaison officers and with the competent authorities of the Member States, in order to prevent and detect illegal immigration and to combat the smuggling of migrants and human trafficking.
Creation of local or regional networks of immigration liaison officers
Immigration liaison officers deployed to the same countries or regions shall constitute local or regional cooperation networks and shall cooperate, where and when appropriate, with liaison officers deployed by countries other than Member States. Within the framework of such networks, immigration liaison officers shall in particular:
(i) meet regularly and whenever necessary;
(ii) exchange information and practical experience, in particular at meetings and via the secure web-based information exchange platform provided for in this Regulation;
(iii) exchange information, where appropriate, on experience regarding access to international protection;
(iv) coordinate positions to be adopted in contacts with commercial carriers, where appropriate;
(v) attend joint specialised training courses, when appropriate, including on fundamental rights, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, document fraud or access to international protection in third countries;
(vi) organise information sessions and training courses for members of the diplomatic and consular staff of the missions of the Member States in the third country, when appropriate;
(vii) adopt common approaches on methods for the collection and reporting of strategically relevant information; and
(viii) set up regular contacts with similar networks in the third country and in neighbouring third countries, as appropriate.
A Steering Board for the European network of immigration liaison officers shall be established. Said Board shall be composed of one representative from each Member State, two representatives of the Commission, one representative of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, one representative of Europol and one representative of EASO.
The Steering Board shall carry out the following activities based upon a global perspective of the situation and of the analysis facilitated by the pertinent Union agencies:
(i) establish priorities and plan activities by adopting a biennial work programme indicating the resources needed to support that work;
(ii) regularly review the implementation of its activities with a view to proposing amendments to the biennial work programme as appropriate, and as regards the appointment of network facilitators and the progress made by networks of immigration liaison officers within the framework of their cooperation with competent authorities in third countries;
(iii) adopt the biennial activity report;
(iv) update the list of deployed immigration liaison officers ahead of each Steering Board meeting;
(v) identify the deployment gaps and outline the possibilities for the deployment of immigration liaison officers
Information exchange platform
For the purposes of their respective tasks, immigration liaison officers, members of the Steering Board and facilitators of the network shall ensure that all relevant information and statistics are uploaded to and exchanged via a secure web-based information exchange platform. That platform shall be set up by the Commission in agreement with the Steering Board and maintained by the Commission.
Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
For more information, please contact:
Barcelona, 2nd August 2019