The return of irregular migrants, including rejected applicants for international protection whose application has been rejected and who no longer have the right to stay in the EU is the backbone of the EU’s policy on migration and asylum. An effective return policy is of crucial importance for the maintenance of trust in the EU’s asylum system as a system providing protection to those who need it, while ensuring the return of those who do not. In view of this, the EU Action Plan on Return emphasises the need to link EU return policy to the asylum procedure as a priority.
Following the recent increase in asylum applications in the EU and subsequent increase in negative asylum decisions in the EU, the return of this group specifically has become a major priority within the EU. The added-value of this study lies in its analysis of (a) the reasons for which rejected asylum seekers might be unable to return / be returned and (b) the measures currently being taken by Member States to facilitate and encourage return. The study also adds value by describing national policies towards the return of rejected asylum seekers, by clearly setting out how the nexus between asylum and return varies between Member States and by identifying potentially good practices.
 This Synthesis Report was prepared on the basis of National Contributions from 25 EMN NCPs (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom)