Three-Level Games in EU External Migration Policy: Negotiating Mobility Partnerships in West Africa

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Series Details Vol.53, No.4, July 2015, p857-874
Publication Date July 2015
ISSN 0021-9886
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In order to increase the effectiveness of migration management, the EU increasingly enters into agreements with third countries. Such co-operation aims to engage third countries in migration control mechanisms in exchange for enhanced legal migration opportunities, yet this externalization of migration policy is highly selective with regard to both participating Member States and third countries.

In this paper we develop a three-level game perspective to explain why Member States and third countries participate in EU external migration policy initiatives. The three-level game links three sets of actors in two strategic interactions: Member States, EU institutions and third countries. We argue that two factors determine the outcome of negotiations: the cost of no agreement and the autonomy of central decision-makers. The model is illustrated by the successful and failed Mobility Partnership negotiations between EU Member States, the European Commission and, respectively, Cape Verde and Senegal.

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