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EC to toughen rules on employment of immigrants


European employers can expect new rules on penalties against those companies that continue to use illegal immigrants early next year.

The European Commission has published a memo outlining a number of new initiatives that it says will provide "an adequate response to increasing migratory pressures on Europe."

The Commission says that the fight against illegal immigration will remain a priority.

"New legislation on penalties against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals will be proposed in early 2007. The networks of immigration liaison officers will be reinforced. Member States will be supported in designing and implementing voluntary return programs and plans for enforced return. Implementing readmission agreements and mechanisms will continue," it warned.

The immigration policy needs to be cross-border, comprehensive and integrated, involving various policy areas of the EU, said the Commission.

The issues and initiatives outlined in the paper will be discussed by the European Council on December 14 and 15.

The Communication also reports on the achievements of the Global Approach to Migration that was adopted by the European Council in December 2005.

The Commission believes that through this the "first tangible steps towards a truly European migration policy" are being taken.