The Joint Readmission Committee (JRC) under the EU – Sri Lanka Readmission Agreement convened its first meeting in Colombo on February 18, since the signing of the Agreement in June 2004 and its entry into force on May 1, 2005.
The Agreement between the European Community and Sri Lanka on the readmission of persons residing without authorization is an indication of the commitment of both parties to effectively combat illegal migration, including human trafficking and related criminal activities and to establish streamlined procedures for the safe and orderly return of persons who do not satisfy the criteria to remain on the territories of Sri Lanka or the EU member countries.
The Sri Lankan delegation provided a briefing on issues related to the implementation of the readmission agreement and the establishment of a National Coordinating Committee on Readmissions (NCCR) as the focal point for the Government of Sri Lanka, with responsibility for drawing up policy recommendations on the procedures to be adopted in the readmission process. Information pertaining to agreed working methods, procedures and timeframes of the readmission process as well as the negotiation of Implementing Protocols and its contents were also discussed, while the EU delegation clarified issues pertaining to the purpose and applicable procedure for conclusion of implementing protocols with member states.
The EU delegation to the JRC was led by the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and assisted by an expert from the European Commission in Brussels and officials from the EU member countries represented in Colombo including France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom.
The Sri Lanka delegation was led by the Chairman of the Policy Sub Committee of the NCCR, Additional Secretary/Political Affairs (Economic Affairs, East Asia & Pacific and Africas Division) of the Ministry of External Affairs and assisted by the Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration and officials from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.