Externalizing EU Migration Management Policies: Responsibility and Justice for Human Rights and Refugee Protection Violations

20 October 2022

This Policy Meeting assesses the externalisation of migration management policies in the European Union in light of refugee protection and human rights. It focuses on key issues related to responsibility and accountability of EU Member States and European Institutions policies externalizing migration management to third countries.

Illustrative examples of EU cooperation with various African countries include indirect forms of EU support through financial and operational assistance and trainings prioritizing interceptions and pull backs at sea, ‘capacity building’ on migration management and border surveillance and the criminalization of human smuggling and irregular migration.

These policies are increasingly coming along policy instruments aimed at facilitating mobility of asylum seekers and refugees through so-called “complementary pathways” which present highly selective and constraining features.

These include for instance Emergency Transit Mechanisms (EMT), humanitarian corridors and private/community sponsorships.

This Policy Meeting assesses the following questions:

• What are the main questions and unresolved challenges to uphold justice and human rights of migrants and refugees in the design and implementation of EU policies focused on contained mobility and complementary pathways?
• What are the key legal, political and financial accountability gaps covering EU institutions and governments responsibility in cases where externalised migration policies raise human rights violations, and in which ways could they be more effectively addressed? Does EU and national authorities’ responsibility follow extraterritorially?
• Are complementary pathways instruments a solution to address some of these questions, and what potentials do they offer in current EU migration and asylum policies?
• What roles can the UN Global Compact on Refugees, and the Global Compact on Migration play in upholding refugee protection and human rights of migrants?



Sergio Carrera


Eugenio Ambrosi

 International Organization for Migration

Tamás Molnár

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Inma Vázquez

Médecins Sans Frontières

Cecilia Vejby Andersen

Danish Refugee Council

Event details

Date: 20.10.2022, Thursday

Time: 14:00 pm – 16:00 pm (CET)