Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The Compacts and the practical arrangements for the return of irregular migrants and their impact on the principle of institutional balance. – III. The Compacts with countries hosting refugees: the context of their adoption and their legal nature. – IV. The integration of refugees in the job market of the host country through trade incentives in the EU-Jordan Compact. – V. An assessment of the EU-Jordan Compact. – VI. The EU-Lebanon partnership priorities and the lack of a Compact with Tunisia. – VII. The integration of migration concerns into the EU relations with developing countries: legal and policy issues. – VIII. Final remarks.
Abstract: This Article examines the recent EU practice of concluding practical arrangements designed, on the one hand, to return irregular migrants to countries of origin or transit and, on the other, to provide trade incentives to States hosting refugees, such as Jordan, in exchange for offering Syrian refugees employment opportunities. After examining the legal nature of the mentioned sui generis instruments, it is argued that preference for informal agreements with third countries is capable of affecting the external powers enjoyed by the European Parliament and the EU’s accountability in its external action. The Article stresses that the Compact with Jordan has, to some extent, improved the situation of Syrians in that country. Finally, it is contended that the exceptional importance attached to the readmission of third country nationals in EU relations with developing countries has made the EU lose sight of the primary aim of development cooperation policy, which is to fight poverty.
Keywords: EU migration policy – informal agreements – EU-Jordan Compact – refugees – EU neighbourhood policy – development cooperation policy.
* Professor of EU Law, University of Pisa, firstname.lastname@example.org. This Article is published in the framework of the research project (PRA) 2018-2020 “Diritto senza politica. Le forme della produzione giuridica nell’epoca transnazionale”, funded by the University of Pisa.