POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: POLICY DIALOGUE EU return and readmission policies: How effective, how legitimate?

1 Apr 2020

Florian Trauner

Research Professor, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Philipp Stutz

PhD Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Catherine Woollard

Secretary-General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles


Raül Hernández Sagrera 

Member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson


Marie De Somer

Head of the Migration and Diversity Programme, European Policy (Moderator)


18.00-19:30 (registration from 17:40) to be followed by reception


WeKonekt City Campus, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels (Entrance via Rue Royale 10)

Accelerating the return of irregular migrants is a growing EU priority. Increasing pressure is being placed on third countries to sign EU readmission agreements or informal return deals. Yet, do these formal and informal arrangements make a difference? To what extent – and why – do third countries cooperate with the EU on the return of irregular migrants?
This public event will discuss the result of a research project on the extent of cooperation with the EU on return over a eleven year period (2008-2018). The research shows that there are considerable regional differences in terms of how far third countries are willing to cooperate with the EU. Furthermore, third countries that have accepted EU readmission agreements do not always have higher return rates and tend to increase cooperation only in the immediate years following the agreement’s entry into force.
This Policy Dialogue will discuss these and related findings with European practitioners and civil society actors engaged in the field, as well as what they mean for the EU’s future approach to return and readmission. How effective is the current policy and approach in increasing returns in practice? Finally, speakers will discuss the legitimacy of such forms of cooperation and their implications for the EU’s broader objectives and relations with third countries.