Trade and Migration in External Dimension of Migration Policy: Relief, Root Cause Reduction or Rights Protection?
Pathways towards Legal Migration into the EU, Sergio Carrera, Andrew Geddes, Elspeth Guild and Marco Stefan, eds. Center for European Public Policy (CEPS) 2017, pp. 128-141
17 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2017
Date Written: August 28, 2017
With the onset of large movements of refugees and migrants, several variations of a trade-and migration-nexi have emerged in EU external dimension of migration policy. Using the flexibilities of the World Trade Organization’s Enabling Clause, Jordan was granted a time-limited least-developed country status under the EU Everything-but-Arms system of preferences, in return for employing and protecting Syrian refugees. This paper analyses the trade-and-migration dimension in the case of the Jordan Compact to demonstrate how WTO trade preferences could maximize human rights protection rather than undermine these under what is commonly known as the “commodification” of migrants in trade agreements. Instead, in crisis situations, trade flexibilities prove a panacea for incentivizing transit countries, like Jordan, Lebanon Turkey, Iraq or Ethiopia to respect non-refoulement guarantees and the right to asylum while at the same time preventing secondary movements to Europe. It closes by proposing a more offensive use of WTO Generalized System of Preferences towards first-asylum countries which can be offered export opportunities to prevent these from backsliding over international refugee protection standards. We propose the trade and refugee linkage can marry “humanitarian” needs with human rights friendly demands.
Keywords: EU, Migration, Refugee, WTO, trade, human rights, non-refoulement
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation