EU-Morocco Cooperation on Readmission, Borders and Protection: A model to follow?

Sergio Carrera, Leonhard den Hertog, Jean-Pierre Cassarino, Nora El Qadim, Mehdi Lahlou

Greater cooperation with third countries is one of the EU’s core responses to the refugee crisis. This cooperation is focused on the readmission of individuals irregularly staying in the EU, on border surveillance and control, and on the reception of refugees in third countries.

This paper poses the question of what kind of cooperation the EU should pursue with third countries. As the current approaches are not new, the authors present the lessons from the EU’s long cooperation with Morocco to inform the current debate. They argue that the lessons learnt from the cooperation with Morocco show the limited feasibility and appropriateness of EU approach towards third countries, and that cooperation with third countries should not come at the expense of migrants’ rights. They should instead open up regular channels for asylum-seekers and not link readmission to other fields of EU external action under the ‘more-for-more’ principle.

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