The Extra-Territorialisation of EU Migration Policies and the Rule of Law
This paper takes a closer look at one of the EU’s foundational values, the rule of law, and relates it to the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy. It examines how the EU’s powers in migration management have been put to use in order to project EU migration policies beyond the EU legal order, or more precisely to locate the physical control of migration outside EU territory. It categorises different types of extra-territorialisation, ranging from autonomous action by the Community, including Community action which requires third country cooperation, to action by way of international agreements and cases where third countries undertake to align their domestic law with the Community acquis. Starting from the prominence accorded to the rule of law in the EU’s external policy, this paper examines an external dimension of the rule of law which goes beyond the desire to promote this value outside EU territory, and its application to the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy. It highlights challenges for the rule of law posed by the increasing phenomenon of extraterritorialisation in EU migration policy. Practical examples taken from the EU’s visa policy and operational cooperation in the field of external border control serve to support the argument that if the EU is to continue the use of extra-territorialisation as an instrument of its migration policy it must address seriously the issue of ensuring a concomitant extra-territorialisation of the rule of law, in particular the effective judicial review of administrative action.
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