Lack of effective enhanced cooperation among EU MS, as well as between MS and third countries - need for an advanced return process
Bilateral cooperation between recipient countries and third countries (i.e. countries of origin/transit countries) is essential for the prevention and control of irregular migration flows. It has been crucial for the case of Spain and Morocco but should be further reinforced in order to improve operational capabilities.
October 2020 Workshop Findings
A priority of utmost importance is the effective cooperation not only among Member States but also with third countries, whether they are countries of origin or transit. Cooperation with third countries is imperative, as there are different policies for each country (e.g. for return process etc.). The common theme that emerges through the efforts for such collaboration is the fact that third countries lack capacities and are unmotivated to efficiently cooperate in migration and asylum matters. This unwillingness causes delays and stems from many factors. First, countries of transit or origin often have their own significant internal problems to tackle, thus viewing migration as less of a priority. Hence, if they deem that there is nothing to gain, or that the benefits in cooperating with EU Member States regarding migrants and asylum seekers are not substantial enough, they are disinclined to work towards this goal.
Another component of critical significance is the existence of different legislations among EU Member States. This causes lags in decision making and policy formation. Consequently, those lags become more apparent between the Member States and third countries, since diverse legislations hinder prompt and effective cooperation, often leading to inertia.
To confront this issue, it is important to start a concrete dialogue with third, neighbouring countries and countries of origin under the auspices of the EU institutions. Furthermore, it is crucial to find ways to support the stabilization of neighboring countries, since political and social unrest is a main driver behind emigration and asylum seeking. However, the point was made that it would be counter-productive to sign new agreements with third countries when there are already existing agreements that are still pending to materialise. The agreements that are in place should be resolved, concluded, and evaluated before going on to making new ones.