PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The present Call for Proposals aims at funding transnational projects to support the effective implementation of the Return Directive. Project applications submitted under the present Call for Proposals should build onto the results of previous projects and must address both priorities 1 and 2 presented below and be designed to achieve all outcomes defined under each of the two priorities:
Priority 1: Further development of the European pool of forced return monitors available to the countries in need of implementing a forced return monitoring system and to FRONTEX.
Outcome 1.1: Increased size of the European pool of forced return monitors by the selection of additional monitors, preferably from Member States whose nationals are currently under-represented in the pool. A vital element for the monitoring to be successful is the independence of the monitors. To that end, a selection protocol should be set up which should include third parties different from the authorities enforcing return. Monitors could represent relevant international and non-governmental organizations, public bodies (such as national Ombudsman), etc. This should include development of a protocol for appointment of independent monitors, based on best practices and experiences among the Member States.
Outcome 1.2: Training of the forced return monitors registered in the European pool. The monitors should be prepared for their missions by trainings covering all aspects necessary for the proper fulfilment of their duties. Trained monitors should also be able to contribute to trainings of monitors at national level.
Outcome 1.3: Deployment of the European pool forced return monitors for the monitoring of forced returns organized by countries in need of (additional) monitors for national Forced Return Operations (FROs) or by FRONTEX, including in particular Joint Return Operations (JROs). The monitoring should cover at least the following stages: the pre-departure phase, the operation (return itself) procedure, a possible transit phase and the arrival and reception of the returnee in the country of return and independent reporting on the monitored return operations. To this end, guidelines for independent reporting requirements, based on best practices, should be developed. In line with the general approach taken with regard to Article 8(6) of the Return Directive, this does not cover post-return monitoring (the period following reception of the returnee in a third country).
Outcome 1.4: Embedding of the European pool of forced monitors into a (future) permanent structure incorporated into a larger European framework pertaining to migration and return. Proposals should include a clear sustainability plan to ensure that the results of the project are useful in the long-term and after the end of the funding. The results of the projects, including data on the selected monitors and documents developed for the management of the pool (procedures, guidelines, training materials) must be made fully available for the use by FRONTEX or other body or third party designed by the Commission by the end of the project duration. Projects should be implemented in full co-operation with FRONTEX and other Agencies (e.g. the Fundamental Rights Agency).
Priority 2: Further harmonisation of rules and support to especially those Member States that have not yet managed to build well-functioning monitoring systems.
Outcome 2.1: Exchange of experience and best practices. The results and standards from the previous projects should be further improved and developed by encouraging exchange of experience between different actors of the return community. In order to increase the harmonisation to the fullest, this should be done in consultation with as many relevant partners as possible.
Outcome 2.2: Replication of best practises in the forced return monitoring. Support to Member States in the process of building up or strengthening their national forced return monitoring system should be provided by emulating best practices identified previously.
Outcome 2.3: Sending of representatives from national return enforcing institutions of selected Member States to observe the monitoring of forced returns carried-out by other Member States and/or EU Agencies (including Frontex). These observers will not be entitled to undertake any monitoring tasks; their role would be to gain experience on how monitoring has to be implemented in practice so that they could replicate the model in their own Member State.
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 1 000 000.
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