Answer to Written Question: Ineffectiveness of the joint way forward on migration issues signed with Afghanistan
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
1. Since its signing in October 2016, the Joint Way Forward has been instrumental in allowing the orderly and dignified return of Afghan nationals irregularly present on the EU territory. Between 2016 and 2019, 18 090 Afghan nationals returned to Afghanistan from the EU, including voluntary departures, and 81 charter flights organised by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) took place with 2 049 non-voluntary returnees on board. The signature of a new readmission arrangement, the Joint Declaration on Migration Cooperation, on 26 April 2021 confirmed the continuous engagement of Afghan authorities to cooperate with the EU on this issue.
2. The European Union’s assistance is intended to contribute to a peaceful, democratic and self-reliant Afghanistan. EU’s programmes on basic services, democratic governance and sustainable growth and jobs have contributed to the political, economic and social development of the last twenty years as well as to addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. Support is also provided to help returning migrants, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons integrate in their host and return communities. As underlined in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, migration is best managed as part of a comprehensive and tailor-made approach, at the core of a mutually beneficial partnership with countries of origin and transit.
3. Future EU support to Afghanistan will depend on the government’s continued commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and gender equality. These priorities are also enshrined in the Afghanistan Partnership Framework agreed at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference.