These statistics relate to all persons considered to be the subject of a return decision within the meaning of Regulation 862/2007. This means all persons « who are subject to an administrative or judicial decision or act stating or declaring that their stay is illegal and imposing an obligation to leave the territory of the Member State ».
The IO produces two types of statistics on return decisions:
- National statistics are produced to meet national needs and follow national definitions;
- European statistics are produced to meet the demands of the European institutions under the supervision of Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union) following the definitions harmonised at European level (for this theme, the definitions are based on Article 7 1. a) of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and the related Eurostat technical instructions).
Currently, the difference between the two types of definitions can be explained mainly by the following elements:
- Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not included in European statistics;
- The decisions taken in the context of organised transfers based on the Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 (Annexes 26quater with order to leave the territory taken in application of "Dublin III") are not included in the European statistics. They are included in the statistics available at national level;
- The statistics for Eurostat count the number of persons (and not the number of events) only once per reference period;
- As the numbers are low in certain countries and for certain categories, European statistics on removals are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.