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Informal Readmission Agreements - Beyond the reach of the law?

Anderberg, Alina LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
During the last years, there has been a shift in the European Union’s migration policy towards an increased use of informal readmission agreements. A common criticism of informal readmission agreements is that the informality obstructs parliamentary and judiciary reviews. This can have serious consequences because the negative impact informal readmission agreements can have on migrants’ right to seek asylum.
Because of the impact informal readmission agreements have on migrants and the increased use of the informal format, it is important to understand the legal consequences of the informality. Therefore, this thesis intends to find out if the informal format makes it more difficult to annul informal readmission agreements under EU law... (More)
During the last years, there has been a shift in the European Union’s migration policy towards an increased use of informal readmission agreements. A common criticism of informal readmission agreements is that the informality obstructs parliamentary and judiciary reviews. This can have serious consequences because the negative impact informal readmission agreements can have on migrants’ right to seek asylum.
Because of the impact informal readmission agreements have on migrants and the increased use of the informal format, it is important to understand the legal consequences of the informality. Therefore, this thesis intends to find out if the informal format makes it more difficult to annul informal readmission agreements under EU law and international law. The focus of the investigation is on two of the of most debated and criticized informal readmission agreements, the EU-Turkey Statement and the Joint Way Forward Declaration.
The investigation was conducted by examine the possibilities to annul the EU-Turkey Statement and the Joint Way Forward Declaration. An essential part of this investigation was to establish if the EU was a party to the Statement and the legal nature of the informal readmission agreements.
For an annulment to be possible under EU law the Union must be a party to the informal readmission agreements This became clear when the General Court dismissed three actions for annulment of the EU-Turkey Statement. The court argued that the Statement was not concluded by any EU institution but instead all 28 Member States and therefore the court lacked jurisdiction. The court orders have been criticised for ignoring international law and important principles in EU law. Thus, there are grounds for arguing, contrary to the orders of the court, that the EU is a party to the EU-Turkey Statement.
The legal nature of an agreement is primary determined by the intention of the parties. Due to the ambiguous character of the EU-Turkey Statement and the lack of public information about the circumstances surrounding its conclusion, it is difficult to determine if it is legally binding. On the other hand, there are no doubts regarding the legal nature of the Joint Way Forward Declaration since the parties stated in the document that it should have no legal effect.
The investigation concluded that the informality was an obstacle to annul the informal readmission agreements, but it did not completely prevent it. The investigation also identified different ways the informality posed problems for the annulment. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Under de senaste åren har det skett ett skifte i den Europeiska Unionens migrationspolitik mot ett ökat användande av informella återtagandeavtal. En vanlig kritik mot informella återtagandeavtal är att den informella formen är ett hinder mot parlamentarisk och juridisk granskning. Det kan ha alvarliga konsekvenser på grund av den påverkan informella återtagandeavtal kan ha på migranters rätt att söka asyl.
För att öka förståelsen för de juridiska konsekvenserna av informella återtagandeavtal utreds i denna uppsatts svårigheterna med att ogiltigförklara informella återtagandeavtal inom EU-rätt och internationella rätt. Det görs genom att analysera möjligheten att ogiltigförklara två av de mest kritiserade och debatterade informella... (More)
Under de senaste åren har det skett ett skifte i den Europeiska Unionens migrationspolitik mot ett ökat användande av informella återtagandeavtal. En vanlig kritik mot informella återtagandeavtal är att den informella formen är ett hinder mot parlamentarisk och juridisk granskning. Det kan ha alvarliga konsekvenser på grund av den påverkan informella återtagandeavtal kan ha på migranters rätt att söka asyl.
För att öka förståelsen för de juridiska konsekvenserna av informella återtagandeavtal utreds i denna uppsatts svårigheterna med att ogiltigförklara informella återtagandeavtal inom EU-rätt och internationella rätt. Det görs genom att analysera möjligheten att ogiltigförklara två av de mest kritiserade och debatterade informella återtagandeavtalen, EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen och Joint Way Forward-deklarationen. En oundviklig del av utredningen var fastställandet av de informella avtalens rättsliga status samt huruvida EU kan anses vara part i EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen.
För att en ogiltigförklaring av EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen ska bli aktuell inom EU rätten måste EU vara en part. Det blev uppenbart när EU-domstolen avvisade tre mål om ogiltigförklaring av EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen. Domstolens ansåg att EU inte var part till överenskommelsen utan att den var sluten av alla EU:s 28 medlemsländer och därmed hade inte EU-domstolen jurisdiktion. Avgörandes kan kritiseras för att inte vara förenligt med internationell rätt och EU-rätt. Det finns därmed grund för att, trots EU-domstolens dom, betrakta EU som part till EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen.
När den rättsliga statusen fastställs spelar parternas avsikt en avgörande roll. Det är svårt att avgöra om EU-Turkiet överenskommelsen är bindande på grund av bristen på offentlig information vid överenskommelsens ingående och textens tvetydighet. Det råder däremot inga tvivel om att Joint Way Forward-deklarationen är icke-bindande, i och med att parterna klargjorde sin intention att inte bli juridiskt bundna i deklarationens inledning.
Slutsatsen i uppsatsen är ett att en ogiltighetsförklaring av informella återtagandeavtal är möjlig men försvåras av den informella formen. Undersökningen identifierade också flera olika sätt som informaliteten försvårar en ogiltighetsförklaring. (Less)
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author
Anderberg, Alina LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Informal readmission agreements, EU law, migration, externalization, informal agreements, international law
language
English
id
8955467
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 14:20:46
date last changed
2018-09-12 14:20:46
@misc{8955467,
  abstract     = {During the last years, there has been a shift in the European Union’s migration policy towards an increased use of informal readmission agreements. A common criticism of informal readmission agreements is that the informality obstructs parliamentary and judiciary reviews. This can have serious consequences because the negative impact informal readmission agreements can have on migrants’ right to seek asylum. 
Because of the impact informal readmission agreements have on migrants and the increased use of the informal format, it is important to understand the legal consequences of the informality. Therefore, this thesis intends to find out if the informal format makes it more difficult to annul informal readmission agreements under EU law and international law. The focus of the investigation is on two of the of most debated and criticized informal readmission agreements, the EU-Turkey Statement and the Joint Way Forward Declaration. 
The investigation was conducted by examine the possibilities to annul the EU-Turkey Statement and the Joint Way Forward Declaration. An essential part of this investigation was to establish if the EU was a party to the Statement and the legal nature of the informal readmission agreements.
For an annulment to be possible under EU law the Union must be a party to the informal readmission agreements This became clear when the General Court dismissed three actions for annulment of the EU-Turkey Statement. The court argued that the Statement was not concluded by any EU institution but instead all 28 Member States and therefore the court lacked jurisdiction. The court orders have been criticised for ignoring international law and important principles in EU law. Thus, there are grounds for arguing, contrary to the orders of the court, that the EU is a party to the EU-Turkey Statement. 
The legal nature of an agreement is primary determined by the intention of the parties. Due to the ambiguous character of the EU-Turkey Statement and the lack of public information about the circumstances surrounding its conclusion, it is difficult to determine if it is legally binding. On the other hand, there are no doubts regarding the legal nature of the Joint Way Forward Declaration since the parties stated in the document that it should have no legal effect.
The investigation concluded that the informality was an obstacle to annul the informal readmission agreements, but it did not completely prevent it. The investigation also identified different ways the informality posed problems for the annulment.},
  author       = {Anderberg, Alina},
  keyword      = {Informal readmission agreements,EU law,migration,externalization,informal agreements,international law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Informal Readmission Agreements - Beyond the reach of the law?},
  year         = {2018},
}