Inventory of the agreements linked to readmission
Inventory of the agreements linked to readmission: Why a dual approach?
Readmission pertains to the removal of aliens who do not or no longer have the right to enter or live in the territory of a country. Countries of destination, transit and origin may cooperate on readmission by drafting an agreement.
Historically, readmission is not a recent issue in international relations. Nor is it a new topic from a legal or political point of view. What, however, is new and unprecedented are the ways in which the cooperation on readmission has been configured and practiced over the last two decades or so, while gaining tremendous momentum in bilateral and multilateral talks.
Bilateral agreements may be formalised, as is often the case, through the conclusion of standard readmission agreements based on reciprocal obligations. However, making an inventory of bilateral standard readmission agreements would never suffice to provide a clear picture of the various cooperative mechanisms that have been designed to facilitate the expulsion of unauthorised aliens.
Under certain circumstances, two states may agree to conclude a bilateral agreement or arrangement without necessarily formalising their cooperation on readmission. They may decide to graft readmission onto a broader framework of bilateral cooperation (e.g., police cooperation agreements including a clause on readmission, administrative arrangements, and partnership agreements) or to deal with it through other channels (e.g., by using exchanges of letters and memoranda of understanding). Among others, the rationale for such non-standard agreements is to respond flexibly to various contingencies over time. Many EU Member States, as well as other countries around the world, have concluded such bilateral non-standard agreements in order to address re-documentation and the delivery of travel documents or laissez-passers to remove unauthorised aliens.
This dual approach explains why it is important to talk about agreements linked to readmission, for it encompasses agreements that can be standard and non-standard. Since its inception in 2006, this inventory has adopted this dual approach in order to shed light on the scope of bilateral agreements linked to readmission.
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