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EU-Morocco Negotiations on a Readmission Agreement: Obstacles to a Successful Conclusion. College of Europe EU diplomacy 07/2019

Kaiser, Kevin (2019) EU-Morocco Negotiations on a Readmission Agreement: Obstacles to a Successful Conclusion. College of Europe EU diplomacy 07/2019. UNSPECIFIED.

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    The European Union (EU) has increasingly sought to tackle irregular migration through cooperation with third countries. One of the key instruments in this regard have been EU readmission agreements (EURAs), which commit non-EU countries to take back irregular migrants. The European Commission obtained a mandate to negotiate an EURA with Morocco already in 2000, but negotiations have thus far remained inconclusive. This paper aims to shed light on the reasons for this failure. It argues that an EURA could not be concluded because the incentives offered by the EU have been insufficient, for instance in the case of legal migration and mobility, or they were granted despite the lack of cooperation. Considerable funding and the symbolically important ‘advanced status’ under the European Neighbourhood Policy were allocated to Morocco anyway because the EU is dependent on Morocco for migration control. This dependency puts the EU in a weak bargaining position as it cannot credibly withhold benefits in case of Morocco’s non-compliance. The credibility of the EU’s conditionality is further undermined by inconsistencies within its multilevel system of governance. The existence of bilateral alternatives to an EURA is particularly problematic in this regard. Based on these findings, the paper suggests that the EU should (1) conclude more readmission agreements with countries of origin to take some pressure off Morocco; (2) link the allocation of funding and the conclusion of new agreements to progress in the EURA negotiations; (3) lower its dependence on Morocco by enhancing its own border control capabilities; (4) relaunch the negotiations for a visa facilitation agreement and broaden their scope; and (5) increase coherence in order to present a united front to Morocco.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > migration Policy
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-North Africa/Maghreb
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > EU Diplomacy Paper
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 13:32
    Number of Pages: 34
    Last Modified: 05 Feb 2020 13:32

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