Third country cooperation in the EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum
By Annick Pijnenburg and Lynn Hillary
One of the aims of the EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (hereafter: Pact) is to reduce unsafe and irregular migration routes. In that respect, the European Commission rightly notes that the internal and external dimension of migration are inextricably linked. It is therefore unsurprising that cooperation with third countries forms an important element of the new proposals that constitute the Pact. Section 6 of the Commission’s Communication, which is titled ‘Working with our international partners’, covers almost a third of the total document. Indeed, while the Pact is a compromise regarding the Common European Asylum System (hereafter: CEAS), i.e. the internal dimension of migration, this is not completely true for the Pact’s elements on cooperation with third countries, and externalisation more generally. Here, the Member States of the EU seem to be very much in unison. It has been argued this is the case because external migration management is focused on deterrence, thereby decreasing the number of migrants that any Member State is responsible for. In other words, if the CEAS were a well-functioning system, there would be no need to rely as heavily on externalisation as is the case in the current proposals.