Externalization is a core element of the Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2020, and has been key to European policies since 1990. As 2015 has shown, even sustaining a limited number of asylum seekers and refugees when compared to more seriously affected parts of the world leads to an experienced crisis. Consequently, the Pact focuses on preventing irregular migration, and seeking asylum is considered as a subset of irregular migration. This essentially coercive approach to cooperation (focussing on the question of how the EU can make other countries do what is in the EU’s interest) ignores the reality that the EU and many third countries have conflicting interests and normative perspectives when it comes to migration and mobility. This contribution addresses that assumption.
“I wish there was a treaty we could sign”, Forum on the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the UN GCR 28 September 2020