EU interior ministers give the final go-ahead for a new travel document aimed at easing the return of illegal immigrants from Europe to their countries of origin, as part of efforts to tackle migration flows into the bloc.
The document's security and technical features will "facilitate its recognition by third countries and will speed up the returns" of people who have no right to stay in the EU, ministers said in a statement.
The repatriation of illegal migrants has become a key element of the European Union's strategy to tackle a migration influx. But the process has been hampered by migrants' lack of travel documents or the reluctance of their home countries to recognize their IDs.
"Our efforts to protect those in need must go hand in hand with the establishment of an effective and credible policy for the return of irregular migrants," noted EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.