Return migration has in recent decades emerged as a critical element of many governments' migration policy - an integral part of effective migration management, alongside strong border management and timely and fair asylum processes. It is seen by many as the cornerstone of any successful strategy to prevent or deter irregular migration and residence in EU states. Yet it is evident that most EU governments still struggle with how best to achieve the return of migrants in irregular situations, and are trying a range of measures to reach some specific targets. Return is increasingly also an important issue for the acceding states, given their role in securing the outer borders of the EU, and the fact that all of them have become recipients, even destinations, for irregular migrants. The report covers the policies, laws and practices in return migration - both involuntary and voluntary - of the current 15 EU Member States, the ten acceding states and Norway and Switzerland. The 27 country chapters attempt to cover the same ground in a systematic way, as far as possible following the same format for involuntary return and voluntary return respectively. Commissioned and co-funded by the Advisory Committee on Aliens Affairs, The Netherlands.