Matthias Lücke, coordinator of the MEDAM project and senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, says on the occasion of the informal video conference of the EU member states’ foreign affairs and home affairs ministers on migration policy:
"The EU will only see its demands on third countries in the area of migration being met if it offers something attractive in return. For countries of origin and transit to help contain irregular migration, the EU must accommodate them in other areas: substantial facilitation of travel to the EU—up to and including visa liberalization—and more legal pathways to education, study, and work in the EU.
EU member states can easily agree amongst themselves that countries of origin and transit should do more to prevent irregular migration to Europe. Countries of origin are also expected to take back their citizens if they have no valid residence permit to stay in Europe. There is nothing wrong with the various departments of the European Commission and member states aiming to sing from the same page when they push these EU concerns with their counterparts from countries of origin and transit. They need to recognize, however, that EU demands present partner countries with major economic and political challenges. Less irregular migration means fewer remittances from emigrants and more poverty. And no government ingratiates itself to its electorate by making it difficult for its citizens to emigrate or facilitating the mandatory return of its citizens from abroad.
Therefore, the EU will only see its demands being met if it invests in truly comprehensive and balanced partnerships. Our experience with the Western Balkan countries demonstrates that irregular migration to the EU can be reduced through close cooperation with partner countries."