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DAR (EU Return Programme)

Posted Date: 18/01/2008

DAR - Comprehensive Return Programme Including Re-Integration


European Commission – RETURN - preparatory actions for return management in the area of migration (call 2006)


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malta) – Lead Partner
  • International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)
  • SOS Malta
  • Med Europe (Italy)


1st August 2007 – 31st January 2009



Return is a multi-faceted field calling for the establishment of an effective and comprehensive return policy, the development of efficient return procedures, taking into account the requirement both for voluntary and forced return. A crucial aspect is to ensure the sustainability of activities in the field.

Concrete measures to address return encompass co-operation and information exchange between: the competent EU Member States; EU Member States and officials in the country of return and between all national authorities involved in the return procedure. As regards migrants that are subject to return measures, targeted support in form of assisted return and reintegration programmes needs to be in place.

The project DAR - Comprehensive Return Programme Including Re-Integration responds to the complexity of the topic by addressing the following objectives:

Overall objective: to contribute to a comprehensive and integrated return programme with special emphasis on reintegration aspects.

Specific objectives:
  • To establish re-integration programmes in country of return
  • To improve administrative procedures on return focusing on cooperation with
    (i) countries of origin
    (ii) other EU Member States
    (iii) as well as among the public authorities and other stakeholders involved in return procedures in Malta.


The project will pursue the following approach initiating a comprehensive return programme:
  • Basing its activities on the concrete requirements of both public authorities and stakeholders involved in return procedures as well as migrants subject to return measures.
  • Basing its activities on results and lessons learned from past and ongoing activities and projects implemented by governmental bodies and NGOs in Malta, other EU Member States and countries of origin as well as international organisations.
  • Extending the group of stakeholders and establish sustainable working relations between them.
  • Keeping activities flexible to allow for the adaptation to changing circumstances such as arrivals of new migrant groups and categories or the political situation in countries of origin
  • Ensuring the sustainability of project activities and results


Reflecting the identified needs and objectives mentioned above, the project will be organised in three components (i) re-integration programme and (ii) return procedures followed by (iii) pilot return of selected persons and their reintegration.

Inception phase

The implementation of the three components will be preceded by an inception phase, in which the project management structures will be set up and all necessary preparatory steps for the implementation of the components 1 – 3 will be carried out:

Selection of target countries: the selection and determination of the target country of origin will be based on the composition of current migration flows, and the size of asylum and protection procedures involving nationals from the respective countries of the Horn of Africa and Sudan.

Establish contacts with EU Member States: After the selection of target countries the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will establish contacts with EU Member States facing (i) a similar situation with illegal migrants from the selected country(ies) of origin and/or (ii) having already established good practices on return and readmission.

Component 1 Reintegration Programme

Within this component a reintegration programme for the selected country(ies) of origin will be developed. The reintegration measures will address the pre-departure preparation of returnees (e.g. provision of training), information material on the situation in the country of origin (optionally in their respective national languages), and re-integration in the country of origin. Special emphasis will be put on sensitive migrant groups (e.g. vulnerable groups, children, etc.) in devising these measures. In the elaboration of the reintegration measures, past experiences of selected EU Member States will be taken into account. A group of 50 persons from the selected country(ies) of origin will be identified and will benefit from piloting the pre-departures measures in Malta. The findings and lessons learned from the pilot returns of this group (component 3) will feed into the further development of the re-integration programme.

Component 2 Return Procedures

Return procedures will focus on three sub-components:

(i)                  Cooperation with countries of origin, focusing on the establishment of structures for cooperation and working relations with selected country(ies) of origin through the identification of focal points, and mutual working visits in the country(ies) of origin and Malta. The findings will be consolidated in the form of a Catalogue of Good Practices and policy options for cooperation with countries of origin, which will address further improvements on cooperation and recommendations to which countries the tested return procedure will be extended.

(ii)                Cooperation with other EU Member States, focusing on knowledge transfer concerning return procedures and cooperation with the selected EU Member States, through mutual working visits. To gain additional knowledge on return experiences during a seminar, additional EU Member States will be invited to exchange about best practices and lessons learned regarding (a) re-integration measures and (b) operational return and readmission procedures.

(iii)               Cooperation within Malta, bringing together the public authorities involved in return procedures and aiming to improve and establish joint procedures. The results of the workshops will be consolidated in form of standard operating procedures and a handbook/manual on cooperation procedures between Maltese authorities.

Component 3: Pilot Return of Selected Persons and Reintegration

Within this component the identified group of migrants illegally residing in Malta will be returned to their country of origin building upon the re-integration measures devised and piloted in Malta within component 1 as well as on the improved and developed return procedures of component 2. Re-integration measures in the country of origin will be developed according to the actual needs of returnees and may include targeted measures such as business start up, training etc.

Expected results

The project activities will result in the following outputs within each component:

Component 1 Reintegration Programme

  • Study available
  • Reintegration procedures developed
  • Pilot re-integration programme implemented
  • Handbook on reintegration measures elaborated

Component 2 Return Procedures

  • Mission report on fact finding mission to selected country of origin (including recommendations)
  • Report on working visits in EU Member States and country of origin
  • Seminar report on selected EU Member States and best practices and lessons learned
  • Catalogue of good practices and policy options on cooperation with third countries
  • Standard operation procedures and handbook elaborated

Component 3: Pilot Return of Selected Persons and Reintegration

  • Return procedures and reintegration piloted
  • Project publication disseminated at closing conference


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