The research objective of this paper is to determine the impact that the repressive nature of the European Commission’s amendments to Directive 2008/115 will likely have on the two basic values of the return policy, that is, its fairness and effectiveness. The basic thesis of this study is that the direction of the directive’s recast, assuming – inter alia – an extension of the list of circumstances for applying the entry ban and detention, is contrary to the declared fairness of the migration policy towards third-country nationals. At the same time, the effectiveness of the planned changes is already questionable at the stage of draft legislation. These considerations are based on a juxtaposition of the proposed changes with currently binding legislation, the Commission’s soft law and the case law of the CJEU. The final effect of these analyses is the finding that the solutions proposed by the Commission will lead to an inevitable increase in the use of coercive measures against irregular immigrants in a way that stands in fundamental contradiction to the declared fairness and proportionality of EU actions. In this context, the effectiveness of the return policy should not be identified with a percentage of returns, but rather with the recognised necessity of overall and perfect control over irregular migrants. At the same time, the Recast Return Directive will contribute to the development of an already existing tendency to treat migration law as an instrument of security and public order, and to use administrative law measures so that they function in a manner equivalent to that of a criminal sanction.