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

Friday, 22 January 2016
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Authors: S. Carrera, J-P. Cassarino, N. El Qadim, M. Lahlou and L. den Hertog

Series: Liberty and Security in Europe  No. of pp.: 20

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.

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Section at CEPS; Jean-Pierre Cassarino is conducting research at the Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC, Tunis); Nora El Qadim is Lecturer at the Paris 8 University, Mehdi Lahlou is Professor of Economics at the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (INSEA) in Rabat, Leonhard den Hertog is TRANSMIC postdoctoral Researcher at the Justice and Home Affairs Section at CEPS.

CEPS Papers in Liberty and Security in Europe offer the views and critical reflections of CEPS researchers and external collaborators on key policy discussions surrounding the construction of the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. The series encompasses policy-oriented and interdisciplinary academic studies and comment on the implications of Justice and Home Affairs policies inside Europe and elsewhere in the world.