Amandine Scherrer

The Return of Foreign Fighters to EU Soil

European Parliamentary Research Service


This study aims at outlining the EU response to the issue of returning foreign fighters and their families. It furthermore examines how six Member States have responded to this phenomenon so far (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK). These Member States are confronted with significant challenges in dealing with foreign fighters that combine legal, ethical and practical questions regarding their obligations and capabilities regarding the handling of the foreign fighters still abroad and the returnees already on EU soil. Meanwhile, Member States' existing programs aiming at tackling radicalization are difficult to evaluate, leading to uncertainties as regards the efficiency of current practices.