Photo credit: EU Immigration and Asylum Law and Policy's website

The EU Migration Partnership Framework: an External Solution to the Crisis?

by Céline Bauloz, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London
31 January, 2017

The EU really seems to be digging itself into a hole.

“The so-called migration/refugee crisis has shed light on the limits of the EU and its Member States’ ability – and willingness – to effectively deal with larger flows of migrants. This crisis has been largely depicted as a policy crisis rather than one of numbers (see most notably P. De Bruycker; M. Den Heijer, J. Rijpma & T. Spijkerboer; V. Chetail), and for good reasons. Looking only at refugee data at the peak of the crisis in 2015, UNHCR accounts for 86 percent of the world’s refugees being hosted in developing regions and 6 percent in Europe.

As the absolute number of arrivals in the EU has nevertheless greatly increased, the EU strategy has been to address both the structural deficiencies of its internal migration and asylum policy and the migratory pressure at its external borders. This last strategic objective has been most notably tackled at the EU external policy level through increased cooperation with third countries. After the 2015Valletta Summit, the 2015 EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan and the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, the European Commission proposed a new Migration Partnership Framework (MPF) which was endorsed by the European Council in June 2016. Presented as a new approach for more coordinated, systematic and structured cooperation with third countries, this contribution provides an overview of the MPF and its operationalization before undertaking a more critical assessment of its potential and prospects.”

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