Inventory and Typology of EU Arrangements with Third Countries

Instruments and Actors


Publication by
TAN, Nikolas FeithVEDSTED-HANSEN, Jens / March 2021

This working paper maps and analyses EU arrangements with selected third countries of transit with a focus on the role of instruments and actors in the implementation of such arrangements. The working paper hones in on EU cooperation with Turkey, Serbia, Niger and Tunisia, with particular attention afforded to arrangements since the European migrant and refugee ‘crisis’ of 2015.

In mapping such arrangements, which encompass international relationships between the EU and third countries, the working paper provides a country-bycountry overview and inventory of relevant political, legal and financial instruments. The paper also takes particular note of the role of both EU and third country actors in implementing these instruments. The term ‘arrangements’ here is used to refer to a set of binding and non-binding cooperation modalities undertaken between the EU and third countries of transit.

Given the rise of informalisation in EU arrangements with third countries, the working paper is not limited to arrangements of a strictly legal character. Nevertheless, the working paper does limit its scope to those arrangements with the potential to impact the human rights and refugee law obligations of the EU, its member states or third countries. Indeed, it is important to note at the outset that the informal or non-binding form of particular arrangements does not mean such arrangements do not entail legal effects or consequences in their implementation.