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Dictionary Entry Year : 2017

Readmission Policies in Europe.

Politiques de réadmission en Europe


Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, which empowered the European Commission to negotiate and conclude EU readmission agreements (EURAs) with non-EU (third) countries, the academic literature on this highly politicized and sensitive issue has grown substantially. Predictably, given the normative approach that initially shaped academic debates about whether or not the reacceptance of irregular nationals constitutes an obligation under customary international law, (European) lawyers became the most prominent commentators on readmission matters. The prominence of their discipline coincided with the desire of the European Union to design normatively established rules and administrative procedures aimed at removing irregular migrants and rejected asylum-seekers, in line with internationally recognized standards. Incidentally, in 1994 the Council of the European Union recommended a specimen bilateral readmission agreement, including various provisions and reciprocal commitments among the contracting parties, to be used as a basis for negotiations between a member state and a third country. Concomitantly, as the cobweb of bilateral agreements was expanding across continents, while involving highly heterogeneous countries having contrasting vested interests, political scientists and international relations scholars started to address state actors’ motivations to cooperate on readmission, as well as their respective contingencies and manifold practices. The gap between reciprocal commitments and practice was bridged with the introduction of various heuristic devices. More recently, anthropologists and sociologists have analyzed the consequences of readmission policies on migrants’ safety and psychosocial conditions, in the broadest sense, once they are removed to a third country. Manifestly, the field of investigation on readmission is huge, and interdisciplinary research is much needed. Hence, going beyond disciplinary dogmatism is a necessity.

Dates and versions

halshs-01627081 , version 1 (31-10-2017)



Jean-Pierre Cassarino. Readmission Policies in Europe. : Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Ed. Edward J. Mullen. New York: Oxford University Press.. 2017, ⟨10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0259⟩. ⟨halshs-01627081⟩
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