Periphery under pressure : Morocco, Tunisia and the European Union's Mobility Partnership on migration
Title: Periphery under pressure : Morocco, Tunisia and the European Union's Mobility Partnership on migration
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2015/75; BORDERLANDS
Morocco and Tunisia resisted for some time pressure from the European Union to sign readmission agreements. These agreements co-opt states into the EU’s migration governance, and include a commitment to cooperation on the expulsion of unwanted migrants in Europe. Their recent acceptance of a largely unbalanced arrangement on the issue, the Mobility Partnership, came at a crucial time in the political history of these two countries. This paper shows that the EU exploited the extremely fragile and uncertain political context after the start of the uprisings, in order to push Morocco and Tunisia to sign up to the Mobility Partnership. What is more, the EU anchored the pursuit of what is a clear EU priority in a normative discourse, effectively linking cooperation on migration to EU support for democratisation in the ‘neighbourhood’, after the Arab upheavals. The article thus highlights a concrete case in which the EU engaged in realpolitik, using norms and values strategically. However, the normative framing of EU policies also contributed to the construction of an (allegedly) normative EU identity. Hence, the article challenges simplistic notions of 'normative power Europe'.
Subject: European Union; Tunisia; Morocco; Migration; Mobility Partnership
Grant number: FP7/263277/EU
Type of Access: openAccess