“Flexible” cooperation between the European Union and third countries to contain migration flows and the uncertainties of “compensation measures”: the case of the resettlement of refugees in EU Member States
This piece focuses on the sets of measures designed by the EU to counterbalance the containment strategy resulting from informal cooperation with third countries of origin or transit of migrants/asylum seekers. In particular, attention is drawn to the resettlement programmes and the EU-Turkey statement and to the various initiatives taken by the EU to support the return of people held in detention centres in Libya. The aim of the study is to examine if these measures provide legal certainty to asylum applicants and migrants who are the target of the EU efforts. The answer is negative as far as the resettlement programmes are concerned. This undermines the qualification of the EU as a trusted partner for international organisations active in the area of migration/refugee protection. It is claimed that the EU, which favoured an increase of resettlement targets by Member States between 2015 and 2018, should do more to address the implementation deficits of the resettlement programmes. Making the disbursement of EU funds conditional upon cooperation in the area of the resettlement of asylum seekers is one of the measures that could be adopted to increase legal certainty for the beneficiaries of the resettlement schemes. Yet, the Commission has confined itself to proposing the setting up of a stable Union resettlement scheme which continues to be voluntary in its recent proposals of reform known as the “Pact on Migration and Asylum”. As a result, some Member States will continue to modestly contribute to resettlement efforts.
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