Mobility partnerships between the European Union (EU) and third countries are usually viewed as reflecting asymmetric power relations where development aid, trade relations and visa policies are made conditional upon the cooperation by third countries with an EU agenda of migration control. Drawing on Cassarino’s notion of ‘reversed conditionality’, this article advocates a more balanced view of EU-third country relations and argues that mobility partnerships are also instrumentalised as part of the domestic agendas of third countries. The argument is illustrated by an analysis of the case of EU-Morocco relations with a specific focus on the National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum in Morocco. The analysis illustrates how soft law instruments such as mobility partnerships have significant legal and political implications for third countries and can provide important external support for the development and implementation of national political priorities.
Mobility partnership, EU external action, Reversed conditionality, Morocco, Migration policy
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